Costa Rica hosts Caribbean investment conference and export expo

07 de septiembre de 2016

Conferencia -intl -inversionistas 2016_20160907



LIMON, Costa Rica.– The third Conferencia International de Inversionistas y Expo Caribe Limon was held in the port city of Limon, Costal Rica, on 29-30 August 2016. The conference attracted participation from a number of countries from Latin America and the Caribbean. 

One of the main highlights of the event was the participation of Luis Guillermo Solís, the president of Costa Rica. In his address, Solis emphasized the importance of strengthening relations between Costa Rica and the Caribbean. Such a relationship, it was emphasized would be mutually beneficial to both Costa Rica and the Caribbean and will form the basis for the increase in trade and goods and services between Costa Rica and the Caribbean. 

In this context, reference was made to the importance of the trade agreement between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), acting on behalf of the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, of the one part, and the government of Costa Rica, of the other part.

A wide cross-section of issues were considered by the conference, including, inter alia, the ongoing and planned infrastructural development taking place in Limon; small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and the challenges they face with respect to access to sustainable financing and environmental sound technologies and export constraints as well as the need for investment in skill development; and the youth incubator programme. 

A key issue that underpinned the discussions during the conference related to how to strengthen relations between Costa Rica and Central America and the Caribbean.

With respect to the currently implementing and planned infrastructural project for Limon, the conference acknowledged that these investments will contribute to the revitalization of the city of Limon and the modernization of the port Limon shipping infrastructure thus confirming its dominance as one of Central American main ports on the Caribbean coast. 

The role of SMEs in contributing to a country’s economic and social development was recognized by the conference, which also acknowledged the constraints face by these entities with respect to, inter alia, access to adequate and sustainable developmental finance and environmentally sound technologies. The conference concluded that more investment needs to be directed to SMEs to facilitate product improvement and export competitiveness. 

The importance of and contribution being made by the youth incubation programme being sponsored by the province of Limon was recognized by the conference. Given the success of this programme, the conference acknowledged that more investment needs to be made in the programme so it can be expanded to include more youth.

The conference endorsed the concept of the establishment of a Caribbean Rim platform for cooperation, trade and investment as a means to harness the potential for trade and investment among persons of Afro Caribbean descent of the Caribbean Rim. Such a platform would provide a framework for people to people interaction in the Caribbean Rim as well as contribute to the stimulation of trade and investment between Costa Rica and the other countries of the Caribbean Rim.

It was acknowledged that such a platform could stimulate the growth of cultural industries among the countries of the Caribbean Rim; provide a context for Caribbean Rim tourism growth and development; strengthen trade and investment between Caribbean Rim countries. Other dimensions were highlighted, such as forming pillars for of the proposed Caribbean Rim platform, environment and youth development. In the case of the latter it was emphasised that an important dimension of youth development should be the development of a Caribbean Rim scholarship programme. 

The conference mandated the organisers to develop and, to the extent practicable, implement the concept of Caribbean Rim platform for cooperation, trade and investment as a practical manifestation of stimulating cooperation, trade and investment between Costa Rica and the other countries of the Caribbean Rim.