With the participation of the Director of International Relations of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, Celia Labora, the Caribbean Network of Chambers of Commerce was established last week in Barbados. Executive Directors of sixteen (16) Chambers of Commerce across the Caribbean region gathered at the Accra Beach Resort and Spa in Barbados on April 1 and 2, 2019, for the Official Launch and First Meeting of the Network of Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM). During the two day meeting, history was created with the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the Network. Signatories were from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname. The Honourable Sandra C. V. Husbands M.P, Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, delivered the opening address on the importance of trade policy in the region and the ways in which the Network of Chambers of Commerce could contribute to shaping trade policy agendas.
The formal Meeting of the Network of Chamber was made possible through the support of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the European Union (EU), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management (CDEMA) and the Barbados Government.
Presentations were delivered by various Chambers as well as regional and international stakeholders from the UNISDR, CDEMA, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The Executive Director unanimously elected Ms. Lizra Fabien, Executive Director of the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce as CARICHAM’s first Chairperson. They also elected Mr. Trevor Fearon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce as the Vice Chair of CARICHAM.
CARICHAM is a platform designed to represent the Chambers and their Members at the regional and international levels in order to foster constructive partnerships. The four main pillars of engagement are: 1 Advocacy and Membership Value Creation; 2 Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR); 3 Knowledge Sharing, and Best Practices; 4 Transportation, Trade Facilitation and Promotion.
The Sixteen (16) Chambers of Commerce Represented under CARICHAM are:
1 Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce;
2 Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
3 Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
4 Cámara de Comercio de la República de Cuba;
5 Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce;
6 Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce;
7 Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
8 Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie d’Haϊti;
9 Jamaica Chamber of Commerce;
10 Chambre de Commerce et d’ Industrie de la Martinique;
11 St Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce;
12 St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce;
13 Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture;
14 KKF Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Suriname);
15 Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago;
16 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce.