More than a dozen Caribbean governments will gather in New York City this morning for the third annual Invest Caribbean Now Forum.
Two premiers, a chief minister, a governor, seven ministers of governments and two commissioners will join more than a hundred delegates, including from China, the U.S. government and the private sector, for the Avalon Invest Caribbean Now Forum at the Radisson Hotel in mid-town, Manhattan.
The event comes on the heels of last night’s opening reception for speakers, sponsors and VIPS, which was hosted by the Turks & Caicos Islands Investment Agency and the Government of the Turks & Caicos Islands at the Yale Club in NYC.
In brief remarks, Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Dr. Rufus Ewing, reiterated his country is ready and open to boosting investments in the TCI.
Other governments who will attend the forum today will include Premier of the British Virgin Islands Dr. Orlando Smith; Chief Minister of Anguilla Hubert Hughes; Governor John De Jong, Jr. of the United States Virgin Islands; Finance Minister Washington Misick of the Turks & Caicos Islands; Minister of Tourism of Trinidad Stephen Cadiz; Minister of Tourism of Antigua John Maginley; Minister of Tourism, Nevis, Mark Brantley; Minister of Tourism, Sports & Culture, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Cecil McKie; Minister of Tourism & International Transport, International Trade, Industry, Commerce & Consumer Affairs of St. Kitts, Ricky Skerritt and Minister for Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries, St. Lucia, Lorne Theophilus; Commissioner of Tourism for the US Virgin Islands and Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Beverly Nicholson Doty; Commissioner, St. Eustacius, Nicholas Sneek and Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine, deputy chief secretary and secretary, Division of Tourism and Transportation of Tobago were among governmental dignitaries.
Anthony Eterno of the Caribbean Affairs Office of the US State Department, will speak on the US’ view on investing in the Caribbean and Xiaoguang Liu, Consul in charge of economic and commercial affairs at the Consulate General of China in New York, will also speak on Wednesday morning on the China-Caribbean opportunities that exist as part of a panel on China and the Caribbean.
The sold-out forum will begin at 8:30 a.m. sharp with a welcome by emcee Kara Coleman, news anchor of One Caribbean Television and opening remarks from founder of ICN and CMO of Hard Beat Communications, Felicia Persaud.
This will be followed by remarks from CTO Chair Nicholson-Doty and a speech by Eterno; Premier Dr. Ewing and his finance minister, Washington Misick.
Two panels will then follow – one on Development, Tourism & Beyond with Heather Flossiac of Belle Vue Properties of St. Lucia; E. Jay Saunders, CEO of Digicel TCI; Brian Lilly, founder of One Caribbean Television and Ganesh Ramanathan, creative director at Hard Beat Communications and the other on China and the Caribbean that will feature Liu; Johnny Liu of the American Chinese Commerce Development Association and Li Li, managing director of the Chinese American Business Development Center.
The panels will be moderated respectively by Dr. Grace Lappin, managing director of Avalon Partners and Arthur Piccolo of the New Sports Group, who is replacing Martin Mohabeer of Spackman Capital.
The formal forum will wrap up at 10:30 a.m. with a presentation by Miguel Reyna – Director, Port Business Development and Asset Management, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd and the ICN corporate leadership award presentation to Royal Caribbean International. An hour long doing business and networking session will bring the curtains down on ICN 2013.
The Avalon Invest Caribbean Now Forum comes on the heels of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s Caribbean trip on May 28th for the signing of the United States – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, (TIFA) and the first visit to Trinidad & Tobago by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, which will take place from May 31 to June 2.
Invest Caribbean Now is organized annually by The Caribbean Tourism Organization and digital media solutions company, Hard Beat Communications during Caribbean Week in New York.
ICN 2013 is sponsored by marquee sponsor Avalon Partners; gold sponsors, The Turks & Caicos Islands Investment Agency and Royal Caribbean Cruise, Ltd; bronze sponsor, One Caribbean Television and supporting sponsors, The Chinese American Business Development Center, the American Chinese Commerce Development Association and No-Jet-Lag.