Private Sector key partner in integration says CARICOM SG

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has assured President of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) Carol Evelyn that the private sector is a key stakeholder and partner in the regional integration process, according to a press release from the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen.

The Secretary-General and the CAIC President met in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis on Thursday during the Secretary-General’s visit which began on Wednesday. Ambassador LaRocque stated that this was his first official outing in the community since assuming office and his commitment to the relationship with the private sector could be gauged by the fact that he insisted that this meeting should take place.

LaRocque, in thanking the president for his wishes of success, said the meeting was the first of what he saw as many encounters between himself and the private sector as he looked towards opening a channel of communication between the secretariat and the CAIC as well as the wider business community.

Evelyn in welcoming LaRocque said the  visit demonstrated the Secretary-General’s interest in the private sector and he pledged his organisation’s full support.

Discussions at the meeting included enhancing participation of the private sector in meetings of the councils of the community, the status of the Caribbean Business Council, the role of and opportunities for the private sector in the rebuilding of Haiti and scope for a greater involvement of civil society in the governance of the community.

During his visit to meet with the Chairman of CARICOM,  Dr Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Secretary-General LaRocque also attended the swearing-in of the new President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Sir Dennis Byron which took place on  September 1.

He also interacted with a group of Kittitian youths who participated in a CARICOM Secretariat/European Union-sponsored project on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy and visited industrial sites, the release added.

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