The Costa Rican President, Luis Guillermo Solis, has endorsed the Caribbean RIM Platform, and the IV International Investors Conference & the FIRST CARIRIM TRADEXPO 2017 to be held at the internationally prestigious, EARTH University – located in the Caribbean port Province of Limón – Costa Rica, August 29 – 30th 2017.
The Youth Confernce is 27-28th August 2017.
President Luis Guillermo Solis has also extended letters of invitation to all CARICOM and CARIFORUM Member State Governments, and the private sector; in particular the larger manufacturers of the region and even businesses seeking joint ventures.
The President anticipates a wider participation from the Caribbean this year. President Luis Guillermo Solis is expected once again to address this IV Conference, together with a number of officials and business persons from the region.
One of the organizers, Ramiro Crawford of Limon Roots Costa Rica, indicated that “ President Solis has invited the entire English speaking territories and makes a special appeal to the OECS territories to make a significant presence at the upcoming event.
He hopes that this will also be an opportunity to pursue goals within the framework of the CARIRIM which has been conceptualized by LIMON ROOTS – RAMIRO CRAWFORD, DAVID JORDAN and technical adviser , Dr. MARK GRIFFITH.
Crawford of Limon Roots who has been the host leader, is happier due to a more positive input and collaboration from the Caribbean, for the second year in a row.
The interim Secretariat, is being provided by a consortium of private sector entities from the countries across the Caribbean RIM, namely Limon Roots, FRIEETAD in the OECS Inc .and the CaribInvest Group which has representation in Barbados and Panama.
The Interim Secretariat and Hubs of the Caribbean RIM Platform Initiative (CRPI) for Regional Cooperation, Investment and Trade – Barbados, Costa Rica, Guyana, Panama and Saint Lucia.- has enabled the RIM to advance phenomenally under the leadership of Crawford of Limon Roots, The CaribInvest Group and David Jordan of FRIEETAD in the OECS Inc.- headquartered in Grenada.
FRIEETAD in the OECS Inc. and the CaribInvest Group are also a key players in the event. The EARTH University in Costa Rica – where the event will be hosted, and participants accommodated , is a major player in this year’s event together with key sponsors.
The RIM Background
One of the outputs agreed to by the III Conferencia International de Inversionistas y Expo Caribe Limon held in Limon, Costa Rica from 29-30 August 2016 is the establishment of a Caribbean RIM Platform for Cooperation, Trade and Investment.
The Platform provides a framework for “people to people” interaction in the Caribbean RIM, as well as to contribute to the stimulation of Trade and Investment between Costa Rica and the other countries of the Caribbean RIM.
The Conference also acknowledged that such a Platform could facilitate regional cooperation between Caribbean RIM countries in a number of areas such as the stimulation of the growth of cultural industries, environmental sustainability and climate resilience among the countries of the Caribbean RIM; and to provide a context for Caribbean RIM tourism growth and development; and the strengthening trade and investment between the Caribbean RIM countries and as well as stimulate youth innovation and entrepreneurship.
Spearheaded by a consortium of private sector entities, namely CaribInvest West Indies, S.A., Panama; Limon Roots – Costa Rica; Giordano Associates Limited, St. Lucia; CaribInvest (West Indies) Limited, Barbados and IntePro (West Indies) Limited, Guyana,
Some of the objectives of Caribbean RIM Platform Initiative (CRPI) include
1) interests in the subject of mitigation of natural disasters; youth innovation and development and the strengthening of regional cooperation among Caribbean RIM countries;
2) Establishment of a framework for the stimulation and enhancement of Investment; Trade Relations, including trade in services and Private Sector interaction and engagement between countries of the Caribbean RIM.
3) Facilitation of Market Integration between the countries of the Caribbean Rim……
4) The provision of a Forum exchanging of views and ideas on Caribbean Economic Expansion as well as an Expo for facilitating the promotion of commercial interaction between companies and entities of the Caribbean RIM and also foreign companies and interests.
David Jordan – Chairman of the FRIEETAD whose agenda is Research, Innovation, Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Training in Development in the OECS,, notes that the CARIRIM comes on the virtual heels of dormancy of a “comatose” partial scope Trade Agreement of CARICOM – COSTA RICA, which accordingly has NOT been fully explored.
He optimistically observes however that ” over the years that the Member State/partners have matured under the framework of trade liberalization and Globalization and it will be interesting to see if there is any zeal in promoting regional agreements at this time But that will be a role for the private sector players in the region.
It will also be interesting, to see what the partners and interested stakeholders can develop with mutual interests against the backdrop of geopolitical concerns and their respective economic and social challenges which face the entire Latin America and Caribbean region”.
Costa Rica is part of Central America has a population of (4,903,671 as of Sunday, June 18, 2017, based on the latest United Nations Estimates.
“Costa Rica is embarking on a continued economic and social development path and now its port infrastructure as part of a major transformation of its economy, and there are lessons to be learned from them.”
The CARICOM COSTA RICA Agreement was signed in 2004 and is still yet to be in force in some member states as follows in the Table below.
Signed Sept 2004 Entry into force
Barbados 01 Au 2006
Belize 10 March 2011
Guyana 30 April 2006
Trinidad & Tobago 15 Nov 2005
”The stark reality is that, the entire region is jointly faced with low economic growth rates, high levels of employment but there are lessons which each can learn from each other and adaptive technologies that can be promoted.”
Jordan observes lamentably and states “ that the only countries which apparently over the stated period of the Trade Agreement which seem to have explored trade and business opportunities are Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.”
Ironically, the Commonwealth of Dominica is the only member state of the OECS , that has appointed an Ambassador to the Costa Rica in the person of Hon Ambassador Dr. Damien Dublin( May 29 2007..Non Resident Ambassador).( “Critical to this Jordan says, “thoughts and questions arise simultaneously”, would it not be better for the OECS to work together on this as a united group in that specific undertaking? ”.
Crawford’s Limon Roots has always been promoting the culture Agenda between the region and since 1987, has managed, organized and / or coordinated the visit to Costa Rica and Central American countries, of important artists and groups such as: Mighty Sparrow, comedian Oliver Samuels, Jamaican Folk Singers, former Miss Universe Janelle Commissiong, Trinidad and Tobago National Steel Symphony Orchestra, Tivoli Marching band, Rex Nettleford, Mighty Diamonds, Bare… Essentials to perform…..bringing Cultural events of the Caribbean in a showcase.
He also recalls “ sports football, softball teams from Curazao, Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago. While Barbados and Trinidad &Tobago have been in the forefront through eg. Kros Fire etc Crawford says in recent years St Lucia’s Gilles “Gillo” Stephen, has been a trail blazer there were performers like Claudia Edward, Soca Artiste Alpha from Saint Lucia have performed at Limon Roots musical and cultural events”.
This year Crawford and the Limon Roots team, are even more enthusiastic about the outlook and plans set for the IV Conference,, CARIRIM AGENDA, having been in constant dialogue with the President’s Guillermo Solis office, throughout ever since the last Conference.
He says that “ the IV Conference and the CARIRIM AGENDA are of critical importance in terms of the reinforced direction of the CARIRIM and the new input from the rest of the Caribbean islands.
David Jordan Chair of the FRIEETAD in the OECS Inc, hopes this year to see wider participation from the Caribbean with at least two representatives of the private sector, from Member states of the OECS.
The IV Conference of Trade and Investment which is strengthened with Trade and Investment AGENDA and dialogue will create an even greater avenue for investors interested in new markets, “business match making” exchange with distributors., Agriculture, ICT technology companies, Manufacturing, Service companies, Tourism related business and Researchers and a Cultural input with the Limon Annual Parade follows on the 31st August 2017.
The organisers are planning that Costa Rica and the business stakeholders will provide the right business opportunities in those areas while promoting an outreach to each other in the regional hemisphere both in Trade and in Culture.