CAYMAN ISLANDS - The Northern Caribbean Conference (NCC) on Economic Development and Co-operation provides a platform for islands of the Greater Antilles to achieve a greater level of co-operation.
Immigration, trade, education and security will be the key focus areas at the upcoming Conference to be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Grand Cayman, on December 17. Representation is expected from the Bahamas, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“Northern Caribbean countries enjoyed much closer relation in the past than they do at present,” said Earl Jarrett, General Manager of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS). The conference will be hosted by JNBS and the National Building Society of Cayman (NBSC).
“Many Caymanians as well as Jamaicans settled in Cuba in search of economic opportunity during the last century,” he said. “At the same time there are a large number of Jamaicans who can trace their ancestry back to Haiti.”
Haitian migrants have left their imprint throughout the area, he pointed out, adding that, “On the other hand, the Haitian revolution which created the first free republic in the Americas, was started in 1791 by a Boukman Dutty, a Jamaican.”
“The movement of people, goods and ideas was not impeded by language or cultural differences in the past and should not do so now,” Mr. Jarrett said. The NCC is intended to tackle the administrative barriers now impeding greater regional collaboration.
The conference, to be chaired by Mr. Joe Clark, former Canadian Prime Minister, will include presentations from Cayman’s Premier McKeeva Bush; the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Bruce Golding; and CARICOM Special Representative on Haiti, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson. It will also be addressed by representatives of international agencies from the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom; as well as, entrepreneurs and members of academia.
“One of the expected outcomes of this dialogue among regional political leaders, researchers and entrepreneurs will be the expansion of regional economies and creation of jobs for Caribbean nationals,” Mr. Jarrett said. “We also hope to foster greater understanding among business leaders in these countries, and in so doing, encourage closer collaboration in relation to the key focus areas which are critical to our economic development.”
“In undertaking the expansion of our business in the region, we recognise the need for closer collaboration among governments and business leaders; and, call for greater effort to leverage the strengths of each country to benefit all the peoples in the region,” Mr. Jarrett stated.
The National Building Society of Cayman, based in Grand Cayman, is a subsidiary of the Jamaica National Building Society; and the organization also operates a remittance service, JN International Money Transfer in Cayman through another subsidiary, JN Money Services. JNMS recently acquired Quikcash and Sun Money brands, and is currently one of the leaders in the regional remittance market.