St. John’s Antigua- At a recent business reception, US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean announced that seven Caribbean countries including Antigua & Barbuda will be part of a shared American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham), to be based in Barbados.
Ambassador Palmer urged the assembled businessmen and businesswomen to participate in the “very exciting development” which will see initiation of an AmCham chapter for seven Eastern Caribbean countries — Antigua & Barbuda; Barbados; Dominica; Grenada; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; and St Vincent and the Grenadines. This chapter joins the 115 AmChams currently in existence in 102 countries around the globe.
“The American Chamber of Commerce is coming to you soon – and we want to be a part of it,” declared Palmer, underscoring the embassy’s commitment “to further support and strengthen the US-Barbados economic relationship” and the role the AmCham can play.
“We need to take our partnership between business and government to the next level, and I think, no I know, the American Chamber of Commerce can help,” stated Palmer.
American chambers of commerce are voluntary associations of American companies and individuals doing business in a particular country, as well as firms and individuals of that country who operate in the United States. The chambers work to promote trade and investment between the United States and the particular country or countries where they are based.
Leading the initiative is American-Vincentian international business law specialist Dustin Delany of the Barbados-based law firm Delany Finisterre. At the reception Delany noted the presence of AmChams in several other Caribbean territories, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
“The obvious void existing here in the region is Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, a void that has long been recognised by existing Caribbean AmChams,” said Delany.
The announcement of the chamber, which will be launched in the fall of 2012, came just ahead of Global Economic Statecraft Day, a worldwide event organised by the US Department of State to highlight the important economic work of US diplomats and development experts around the world.
It is part of the Economic Statecraft agenda launched by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year, in recognition of the fact that the United States’ global leadership rests on a foundation of economic prosperity and co-operation.
“Our foreign and economic relations remain indivisible,” asserted Clinton to the Economic Club of New York when she launched the agenda in New York City in October 2011.
Palmer echoed these sentiments, emphasising the pivotal role that the American Chamber of Commerce is expected to play in Embassy Bridgetown’s economic statecraft efforts.
“We can and must do much more in the coming years to advance this economic statecraft agenda, and we need the business community to be our full partner. We want to have the American Chamber be our focus. We need to sit down together more, brainstorm, plan, co-ordinate, and work together to promote American business,” said Palmer.