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Caribbean Chambers organisation elects new executive

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THE NETWORK of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM), has a new man at the helm as Chairman for 2021/2022.

According to a release from CARICHAM, the unanimous election of Brian Louisy, Executive Director of the St Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture; as well as Misha Lobban-Clarke, Executive Director of Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the newly elected Vice-Chair, took place at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday June 22. Dr. Thackway Dax Driver remains on the executive committee as the immediate past chairperson.

That meeting was also the occasion for the outgoing Chairperson, Dr. Thackway Dax Driver, CEO and President of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, to highlight the key achievements of 2020-2021.

Despite the global crisis due to COVID-19, the Network was able to fulfil its objectives while adapting to the new context.

In October 2020, CARICHAM in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission with support from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), organised the Private Sector Dialogue on Trade Facilitation. The two-hour webinar provided a platform for CARICOM private sector representatives and business support organizations to discuss the COVID-19-related trade facilitation challenges and priorities of the business community, in particular, the MSME sector which accounts for approximately ninety percent (90%) of CARICOM businesses. Participants also showcased successful strategies that businesses have employed to survive and pivot amid the pandemic.

Members of the Network also created the CARICHAM Regional Growth Series, a webinar series and platform for addressing key issues and exchanging best practices. The webinar series, which is accessible through the CARICHAM website at www.caribbeanchambers. net/resources, explored key themes such the Importance of Regional Air Transportation for the Economic Recovery of the Caribbean; Business Continuity Planning to Enhance Business Resilience for the Hurricane Season; and Alternatives Dispute Resolution Methods.

Louisy, the new CARICHAM chair, has over 30 years of experience in development work in both the public and private sector. As a trained economist in the area of development economics and project planning, he has been active in the fields of private sector development, business advocacy, business support services, trade negotiations, export development, sustainable development, development planning, and competitiveness throughout his professional career.

Lobban-Clarke, the vice-chair, is a management, public relations and communications specialist, with 25 years of experience in management, corporate communications, public relations, stakeholder engagement; events planning, media relations, and journalism.

The organisation noted in its release that the interest of the private sector is often overlooked in policymaking, as such, the Network of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce has made its mission to advocate for the Caribbean Private Sector at all levels.

For this new term, CARICHAM will focus on enhancing service-offerings within the Chambers, creating collaboration opportunities with other regional bodies to ensure better advocacy for the private sector, and creating more business opportunities between members to foster exchanges in the region.