The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) will host the 3rd staging of the Caribbean Investment Summit on May, 13, 2016 at the Marriott Hotel, Miami, USA. The event will be funded and co-organised by the Inter-American Development Bank as a part of a Regional Public Goods Initiative entitled: Support to Foreign Direct Investment in the Caribbean.
Produced with support from Financial Times’ fDi Magazine, the Caribbean Investment Summit offers a unique window for investors to the region’s diverse opportunities available to them, and aims to attract a wealth of potential investors interested in the dynamic Caribbean brand.
Following the success of two previous events in London and Mexico, the Summit will bring focus to the region’s key industry sectors: renewable energy, business process outsourcing (BPO) and niche tourism. Continuing under the theme, The Climate is Right in the Caribbean, the event will provide an unmatched platform for regional Investment Promotion Agencies, senior government officials and Ministers of Government to expose their ‘shovel ready projects’ to prospective investors in their newest target market, the United States.
Over 100 high net worth individuals and investors are poised to gather at this year’s Summit which will once again be emceed by Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief, fDi Magazine, Financial Times Group. The event also seeks to take advantage of the proximity of the United States to the Caribbean, as the region continues to target strategic investors under the roll-out of the recently developed Regional Investment Promotion Strategy. At this years’ event awards will be given to the Regional Investor of the Year and those in attendance will hear first-hand from investors who have successfully invested in the region.
The above article was posted on the Caribbean Export Blog Page. The original can be viewed at http://www.carib-export.com/caribbean-investment-summit-2016-miami/
During 2015, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis continued to impact negatively on the economic and social welfare of the CARICOM Member States and their citizens.
Unfortunately, another difficult year is ahead of us with many economic challenges anticipated both within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and extra-regionally. The global economy is projected to show modest growth when compared to 2015. However, at the regional level the situation remains uncertain with potential downside risks including falling global oil and commodity prices and bouts of financial volatility, which could result in lower than expected economic growth for Member States.
The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) is acutely aware that as economic improvement is slow in coming, and as domestic demand within the Member States remains weak, anti-competitive conduct such as collusive agreements and abuse of dominance are likely to abound in 2016. Additionally, unfair trade practices of large companies against small and medium-sized businesses may also harm the economies in the CSME, and ultimately reduce consumer welfare.
The CCC is also mindful that in difficult economic times, Governments sometimes believe that they are protecting consumers by restricting competition in key sectors such as utilities, health, public procurement and energy. This is done by preventing the entry of new players into markets through licensing and regulatory restrictions; regulating prices through price or margin controls; and limiting certain contracts only to local firms e.g. office furniture, and stationery and office supplies, drugs, and road works.
The CCC therefore views 2016 as a pivotal year in the enforcement of competition law, as well as advocacy for consumer protection in the region. This is with the unrelenting view that competition and consumer protection initiatives can help ease the difficulties faced by consumers as a result of anti-competitive conduct and austere Government policies implemented during periods of recession.
For 2016, drawing upon the work program which has already been approved by Member States, the CCC will continue to vigorously protect and maximise consumer welfare in the CARICOM region. Accordingly, the CCC intends to make consumers the focus of its message to Governments and parliamentarians, sector regulators, the business community, and other special interest groups such as the judiciary, media, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
In this regard, the CCC will continue to work closely with National Consumer Protection Agencies and Consumer NGOs in CARICOM Member States on initiatives which commenced in 2015 such as:
• The establishment of national and regional consumer complaints databases and their effective uses for consumer protection enforcement;
• Research into priority areas for consumers such as financial services and utility regulation; and
• Consumer education.
With respect to competition policy, the CCC will establish the CARICOM Competition Network (CCN) in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat CSME Unit, and national competition authorities (NCAs) in the CSME, in 2016. The CCN will seek to encourage closer collaboration between NCAs on matters such as:
• Harmonization of investigation procedures;
• Administrative and legislative barriers to efficiency in competition investigations;
• Information exchange;
• Development of CSME Product Market Indicators; and
• Competition Training and Education programme.
In conclusion, as the designated regional advocate for competition and consumer protection, the CCC takes this opportunity to encourage Governments and sector regulators to view this period of financial constraints as an opportunity to implement or enforce policies that maximise competition among existing operators; facilitate entry and investment of new entrants into markets; and modernise the legislative and regulatory framework for competition and consumer protection. For its part, the CCC will continue to promote and lay the groundwork for the principles of competition law and policy and the effectiveness of consumer protection enforcement in the region.
Public and Private Sectors Meet on Economic Development
Today, the Belize Biltmore Plaza was the site of a very high-profile, high-powered economic forum, under the theme – Strengthening Partnership for Growth. It’s the third of its kind, an initiative to strengthen the collaboration between the public and private sectors in Belize. Industry stakeholders, big business operators, bankers, financial experts, entrepreneurs and government officials engaged in panel discussions on various pertinent topics with one goal – developing the economy. Mike Rudon was at the opening ceremony this morning and has the story.
Mike Rudon, Reporting
The first business forum took place in 2011, an effort by government to open meaningful dialogue with the private sector in Belize. Since then the initiative has taken flight, and today there was massive participation from private sector stakeholders, as well as industry giants and financial experts. Traditionally the sessions have been speech-centred, but this year it’s being done different to allow for more interaction, input and constructive discussion.
Mike Singh, C.E.O., Ministry of Trade and Investment Promotion
“This year we’re doing panel discussions, and we’ve brought in people from key areas in government, key areas in the private sector, key areas in the productive sector to sit and have discussions on specific topics, to discuss issues like competitiveness, education, skill needs…I could go through a long list but I believe that there are four panels after which there are question and answer sessions with the private sector. The Prime Minister is on hand to address any issue that they might have, and I also believe that for him it will be a learning experience as well because it really is intended to be a two way thing, not a one way speech-giving activity.”
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is pleased to announce the “Micro-Enterprise Utility Start-up Package” for the promotion, strengthening and support of the newly registered Micro Enterprise (ME). Micro Enterprise is defined as a business with:
a) less than 5 employees; or
b) less than $100,000 in annual sales; and
c) less than $50,000 in capital investment.
With the support of the Government of Belize, through its Office of Public-Private Dialogue, BELTRAIDE had partnered with the Belize Telemedia Ltd (BTL), Belize Water Services Ltd. (BWSL,) and Belize Electricity Ltd. (BEL) to make this initiative possible. These three key utility service providers will be offering attractive packages for new starts-up businesses. The packages will waive connection fees and deposits for these three utilities.