The Consulates of Antigua/Barbuda, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, members of the CARICOM Consular Corps, in partnership with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, (CAIPA), hosted the inaugural USA - Caribbean Investment Forum on September 15th and 16th at the prestigious Marriott Hotel in Times Square, New York City.
As far back as 2017, such a forum was presented by Bernadette Ambrose-Black; Foreign Direct Investment and International Promotions Officer (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Embassy to the United States and Canada) and CAIPA, but this landmark event only took hold last year when it was first mooted as a Corps event, under then Chair; Consul General of Barbados; Mackie Holder, in a meeting with Mayor Eric Adams last year and originally slated for June, during Caribbean-American Heritage month and around celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM.
The forum brought together government officials, investment promotion agencies, entrepreneurs, and business leaders to explore investment prospects and discuss the opportunities for investment in the Caribbean region.
Over the course of two dynamic days, attendees engaged in networking sessions and presentations focused on the opportunities for investment for US investors. The event also placed a spotlight on the potential for the Caribbean nationals residing in the United States to invest in their respective homelands.
It was opened by Ronald Theodore, CAIPA President and Head of the Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC) and CG Holder. Distinguished speakers, including representatives from the New York State Governor's Office and the Office of the Mayor of New York City (NYC), delivered insightful perspectives on investment and collaboration between the city of New York and the Caribbean.
Keynote speakers included Minister Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism & Ports, Cayman Islands, and Chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), as well as the Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Trade, and Investment, Turks and Caicos Islands; Ms. Molly Bauer, Industry Development Associate from the NY Governor's Office representing Governor Kathy Hochul, and NYS Commissioner Jeanette Moy NYS Office of General Services representing Governor Kathy Hochul; and NYC Commissioner Edward Mermelstein, NYC Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, representing Mayor Eric Adams.
Invaluable inputs were made by specialist officers of agencies such as the Caribbean Development Bank, (CDB), IDB Lab, and USAID, who contributed their expertise and perspectives to the discussions, as well as major investors in the region who spoke of their experiences and shared their success stories.
The event was a resounding success having achieved the desired objectives of increased visibility by US and Diaspora investors for Caribbean investment projects.
Consuls General Holder, Mr. Jerome Andre Laveau (Trinidad & Tobago), and Mr. Rondy McIntosh (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), shared valuable insights around the potential to forge even stronger connections between the Caribbean Diaspora residing in the United States, their respective countries, and the Caribbean as a whole.
According to Consul General Mackie Holder, “The USA-Caribbean Investment Forum marks a significant step. It reflects the collaboration, commitment and resolve that are required among all our countries, governments, agencies, and people for a new engagement and push worldwide to help break the cycle of stop-start development of the Caribbean and is indicative of what can be achieved when all sectors come together.” We must sell the immense and immeasurable collective talents, skills, and resources of the region – and in so doing do not undersell ourselves – and the best way is to do so collaboratively. The support from major regional institutions such as the CDB, USAID and IDB, and businesses, underscored the importance of this inaugural event. The Forum was excellent, impressive in maximizing one on one conversations with the testimonials from investors already operating in the region a signal feature. It has set the appropriate tone and platform on which to build out similar events throughout the diaspora and the excitement suggests there will be practical desired outcomes – investments in the region.
"The Caribbean is the new investment frontier. The Caribbean is where you vacation while you work. The Caribbean is where the weather, the scenery, the topography, and the investment landscape are all warm, friendly, hospitable, and inviting as the people who inhabit the region. We are just awaiting your interest to capitalise on the untapped opportunities and resources in our slice of paradise. The time to invest in the Caribbean is now, and we await you with open arms," said Consular General Rondy McIntosh of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
“This landmark event is only the start of renewed efforts by CAIPA to increase its partnership with a wider cross section of stakeholders including regional and international entities. This event marked a new era of engagement for CAIPA,” notes Ronald Theodore, CAIPA President.
The USA Caribbean Investment Forum was made possible through the generous support of its sponsors. We take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors of this event.
The USA Caribbean Investment Forum served as a powerful catalyst for forging new connections and fostering partnerships, paving the way for a brighter economic future in the Caribbean. To stay updated on future events and opportunities, please visit investincaribbean.org.
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