(L-R) Cayman Islands deputy director Charles Parchment; Montserrat director Janice Panton; CaribDirect CEO, David Roberts; Bermuda director Kimberley Durrant and BVI director Kedrick Malone
LONDON, England -- Overseas Territory representatives from the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands and Anguilla met with United Kingdom business networking specialists, CaribDirect International Business Network (CIBN) in London last week, as the first networking session focusing on trade and investment gathers momentum.
These discussions, held at the offices of the Bermuda representative, focused on introducing the CaribDirect International Business Network (CIBN) concept; outlining its broad scope; revealing the economic and political opportunities available for the Caribbean Overseas Territories (OTs); and examining practical ways to work together for the benefit of the dependent territories of the Caribbean.
CIBN is an agency designed to facilitate and connect entrepreneurs and business people in the UK with Caribbean government and business representatives for trade and investment.
Representatives attending the meeting were Cayman Islands' deputy director Charles Parchment, Montserrat director Janice Panton, BVI London Office director Kedrick Malone, Bermuda director Kimberley Durrant, CaribDirect director of policy Ron Belgrave and CaribDirect multi-media CEO David Roberts.
The CaribDirect multi-media CEO set the tone of the meeting by providing the context of the current economic situation in the UK, from the point of view of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the relevance of CIBN to Caribbean entrepreneurs.
He provided an overview of the objectives and vision of CIBN, while outlining the value of a strategic alliance with Caribbean OTs to help in connecting SMEs between the UK and their respective constituencies in the Caribbean.
The leaders were keen to establish a mode of collaboration as they grasped the concept readily, and were excited about the prospect of bridging the gap through media between Caribbean youth, and the first and second generation Caribbean nationals both in the UK and Caribbean.
CaribDirect multi-media with its many facets (online magazine, seminars, social media and digital marketing) was deemed vital to spearheading this drive and galvanizing support. Policy director Ron Belgrave addressed the role of the media, in facilitating trade and investment, and also the opportunity to use film to reach young Caribbean nationals at all levels.
The Overseas Territory representatives unanimously agreed that the CIBN is indeed a useful initiative to connecting businesses with their Caribbean counterparts; and is a great forum for City businesses men and women to meaningfully engage in trade and investment talks with Caribbean government decision makers at all levels.
Coming out of the meeting it was agreed that assistance will be provided to CIBN to access financial services operators in the City; and that Overseas Territory representatives will jointly collaborate with CIBN to deliver the CIBN-Caribbean OTs networking meeting on Thursday, August 7, 2014, at BVI House.
Additionally, the Overseas Territory representatives offered to facilitate links between CaribDirect and their local media for content sharing for Caribbean markets. Furthermore, CaribDirect will serve as a platform to disseminate OT representatives communications as required.
All representatives left the meeting optimistic about the fate of young enterprising Caribbean nationals in the region given the role of CaribDirect International Business Network (CIBN).