Member States earlier this week showcased to Japanese businessmen the opportunities available in the Region, particularly in the energy, natural resources and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sectors.
The CARICOM-Japan Business Seminar was convened in Trinidad and Tobago on 22 November, in Port-of Spain and brought together government and private sector representatives from CARICOM Member States, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and a Japanese business delegation that comprised representatives of some of the biggest Japanese enterprises such as Fujitsu, Hitachi and Marubeni. Several bilateral meetings between the representatives of both sides were held on the margins of the seminar.
In addition to providing an overview of the economic situation and prospects the Region held, the CARICOM delegations promoted the investment opportunities and highlighted the incentives and enabling attributes that their respective countries provide to attract investors.
Emphasis was placed on opportunities in renewable and alternative energy sources, ICT, and natural resources, as well as in the tourism and agriculture sectors.
At the Seminar, the Most Hon. Percival J. Patterson, CARICOM Special Representative on Haiti, made a presentation on `Perspectives on the Reconstruction of Haiti’. His presentation was in keeping with the decision taken by CARICOM Heads following the January 2010 earthquake disaster to advocate on behalf of Haiti in Community meetings with external partners.
The former Jamaica Prime Minister expressed the Community’s appreciation to the Government of Japan for having fully disbursed its pledge to Haiti for its reconstruction. Only a relatively small portion of the resources pledged to Haiti has been committed to date. He also underlined that the reconstruction of Haiti was one of the largest investment opportunities in the world as it included economic, territorial, institutional and social rebuilding. The investment cost for reconstruction of the public sector was estimated at US$11.5 billion and the private sector at roughly twice that level.
Representatives of the Japanese companies, some of which were already deeply embedded in the Region, made short presentations on the services and products that their enterprises provide in their respective areas of expertise.
Follow-up sessions are to be held to derive the greatest benefits from the seminar