The Bahamas will play host this month to a regional business conference whose organizers look to take advantage of what one terms a “burst of investment energy” on Wall Street and a relatively strong third quarter in the US economy.
Carl Masters, chief executive officer of Goodworks International – which organized the 19th Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference – said businesses are “ratcheting up spending on manufacturing to boost production and trade”.
“Conventional economic wisdom holds that when the U.S. economy is on a fast track to buoyancy, the economies of America’s Caribbean neighbors can expect good times,” he said. “The record-setting pace of investments on Wall Street and the uptick in business confidence across the country are strong indicators that the prospects of the U.S. economy look better, much better than was previously thought.
“They are all good signs for the Caribbean and for executives of large and medium-sized U.S. firms and small business owners on the lookout for profitable business relationships in the archipelago of islands that comprise The Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean.”
The conference runs from November 6 through November 9, and will have as its theme “The Caribbean – waves of opportunity, oceans of success”. Participants will explore a broad range of trading and financing opportunities in the Caribbean and the U.S.
They range from investment financing, security and the law, corporate inversions and creative industries to sustainable economic development; women of power and influence as well as corporate and public sector leadership.
“Now in its 19th year, the conference has proven to be a successful gateway to the U.S. and Caribbean markets, encouraging investment and cross border trade through enlightened partnerships between companies seeking to diversify their operations by taking advantage of profitable opportunities in places like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Panama, U.S. Virgin Islands, Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia and Barbados, all of which have served at different times as hosts of our lively and informative sessions,” said Karl B. Rodney, publisher of Carib News.
“It is a well-spring of opportunities for Caribbean enterprises to tap into and gain a foothold in the vast American market.”
- During the four days of collaborative sessions, presentations, and deal shops, conference participants will:
Engage in leaders ship dialogues featuring such iconic public figures as former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young who served two terms as Atlanta’s Mayor; David Dinkins, the first and lone African-American elected as New York City’s Mayor; U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, a Brooklyn Democrat, and New York State Assemblyman Nick Perry.
- Examine the hot button issue of security and the law and its impact on business. Charles Ogletree, Harvard University professor of law, and New York State Appeals Court Justice Sylvia Hinds Radix are to lead off the discussion.
- Explore investment avenues for creative industries as vehicles for sustainable development. Paula Madison, principal owner of “The Africa Channel” and a former Executive Vice President at NBC Universal Studios, Ray Goulbourne, Executive Vice President of BET, Sheryl Lee Ralph, a prominent movie, television and stage actress and Ben Chavis, founder of Hip Hop Magazine will lead the discussion.
- Discuss “Women of Power and Influence” and their impact on business. Suzan Johnson Cook, a former U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Justice Hinds-Radix, and New York City Councilmember Inez Dickens of Harlem are to be the main speakers.
- Study business opportunities in the U.S. and the Caribbean during a session involving Ed Goldberg, executive vice president of Macy’s, Michael Roberts, CEO of Roberts Companies, Ambassador Masters, and William “Bill” Thompson, a former two-term Comptroller of New York City.
- Engage Sabrina Hosang Jordan, President, Royal Caribbean Bakery, Michele Rodney, Dean of Monroe College’s School of Criminal Justice, Randy Chin, EVP of VP Records, Jovia Radix, and Brooklyn Representative in the office of New York’s Governor in discussions on “Emerging Leaders.”
“The conference provides an invaluable connection for the Caribbean and the U.S.,” said P.J. Patterson, a former Prime Minister of Jamaica and a co-convener of the conference.
Ambassador Young agreed but put it differently.
“I have attended several sessions of the Caribbean Multi-National business meetings in different countries of the region and they have proven to be valuable sources of information that have propelled business ventures,” he said. “I expect the Bahamas conference to follow in that tradition.”
Prime Minister Perry Christie is expected to open the conference.