The CAIC represents the interests of the Caribbean private sector at a variety of regional and international meetings on economic, social and environmental policy. The changing global economy no longer succumbs to national policy. The Caribbean private sector, more than ever, must wrestle with many challenges at a regional level and this is achieved only through advocacy and interaction with major international and regional economic and governmental agencies.
It is at these meetings that the CAIC is able to articulate and seek support for its members’ views on a variety of issues. These include private sector positions for trading arrangements (including the CSME and FTAA), development of a Regional Capital Market, establishment of regional regulatory bodies, air & sea transportation, regional development programmes requiring external funding, the latest legislation on Occupational Health, Safety and the Environment and many others which space does not permit us to include here.
These initiatives all emphasize the need for one body which can ensure that the needs if the Caribbean private sector are effectively represented. With globalisation and increased competition, the Caribbean private sector must work together, learn from the expertise of one another and network amongst ourselves to maximize our ability to compete powerfully. It is the only path to survival.
The Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce began as a private sector mission of the West Indian Incorporated Chambers of Commerce, headed by Sir Garnet Gordon. In 1962 we facilitated a crucial meeting between the Caribbean Private Sector and Heads of Government which culminated in the establishment of CARIFTA, which eventually evolved into CARICOM.
Today, CAIC is an umbrella organization for private sector representative bodies. We are a supporting voice at the regional level for national representative bodies and seek to impact upon the development, growth and competitive positioning of the Caribbean business environment through partnership activities.