Pictured are Executive Directors & CEOs from 16 regional Chambers of Commerce for the official launch
of CARICHAM at the Accra Beach Resort & Spa in Barbados on 1-2 April 2019.
A Caribbean-wide network of Chambers of Commerce has been created.
The network, known as CARICHAM, was launched in early April in Barbados, and comprises 16 chambers of commerce in 15 countries.
The aims of the network include “to better support intra-regional trade, to share best practices, and to contribute to regional policy formation for the benefit of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” said a release from the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, (JCC) one of the founding Chambers.
The countries from which Chambers have come to form CARICHAM are Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines; St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago (with two) and Suriname.
Chambers of Commerce in several other states and territories have also signaled their interest in joining the network.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, which saw the representatives of the assembled chambers signing on to a Memorandum of Understanding to create CARICHAM, Sandra Husbands Minister of Foreign Trade in the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, lauded the formation of the network. She said that CARICHAM can carve out a role “as a powerful lobby and partner in shaping and improving how the Caribbean Single Market & Economy (CSME) will work.”
According to JCC President Lloyd Distant Jr. in as much as most of the membership of Caribbean Chambers are MSMEs, functioning in relatively small economies, it is crucial for their sustainability that they create the business-to-business linkages region wide that will lead to increased growth.
The new body is being led in its first year by a three-person executive comprising Lizra Fabien (Chair), Executive Director, Dominica Association of Industry & Commerce; Carlos Wharton (Advisor), Executive Director, Barbados Chamber of Industry & Commerce; and Trevor Fearon (Vice-Chair), CEO, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.