PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Miami, FL, United States, 2007/12/06 - After two long days meeting on the Central American and Caribbean Basin future, regional leaders concluded there have to be a strengthening on all measure to secure a boost growth for the region.
With the goal of developing the Central America and Caribbean region and facilitating its access to current global markets, the 31st Caribbean-Central American Action Conference (CCAA) formulated a series of measures in the areas of biofuels, small and medium-sized businesses, health and education, “which will contribute significantly to the region’s progress”, said Manuel Rosales, President of CCAA.
“During the Assembly, the US Commerce Department—within the framework of one of its goals: to obtain 10 percent of its energy from ethanol—made a commitment to provide direct consulting to countries in the region, in order to drive the development of biofuels. This is an alliance that will benefit both sides,” said Rosales during the meeting that concluded today, bringing together over 600 leaders and business executives from Central America, the Caribbean and the United States.
“Additionally, the Finpyme program was launched during the event, an initiative from the Inter-American Development Bank that provides small and medium-sized businesses with access to funding through local banks, while also extending financial assistance to universities so these can in turn facilitate technical assistance to SMBs”, explained Rosales.
According to Rosales, Bruce Golding, Prime Minister of Jamaica, stated in his speech during the conference, “we should not only give people opportunities, but also the capacity to take advantage of these opportunities”.
“It is not enough to have access to markets through trade agreements. We must penetrate these markets with competitive products,” highlighted Golding during his speech on Tuesday night.
For Golding, the conference was the ideal framework to ask the US Government to renew the Caribbean Basin Initiative—a program expiring in October of next year, through which countries in the region obtain commercial advantages.
On the other hand, Paul Dyck, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, extolled the positive impact of free trade agreements, such as the DR-CAFTA. These agreements contribute to the growth of member nations and to the creation of a successful front against the 3 Cs: China, Corruption, and Crime. “Statistics show that all current trade agreements have yielded clear benefits both to the economies and other issues in countries where the agreements have been signed. I believe this is part of a process. Anything that serves to improve the economy also helps to improve these issues.”
CCAA's next conference will take place in Miami in December 2008 The conference will have special emphasis on Health and Education issues.
“In the area of Health, we will discuss programs to combat the epidemics that weaken the workforces in Central America and the Caribbean, thus hindering their economic development. In terms of Education, we will create an initiative focused on young business executives in each country in the region. This will promote their attendance and participation in the conference and enable them to obtain the most appropriate training to be successful in their business ventures,” concluded Rosales.