GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, May 27, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago is bidding to host the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) in 2014, Planning and Development Minister Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie has announced here.
Tewarie told the recently held board of governors meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) that Port of Spain is seeking the support of all its Caribbean neighbours in hosting “a unique annual regional forum”.
“This forum which is being hosted in Colombia this year and Panama in 2013, brings together representatives of countries to foster dialogue, exchange experiences and adopt initiatives to strengthen and promote competitiveness in the Americas.
“Indeed at the forum in the Dominican Republic in 2011, the Consensus of Santo Domingo was crafted and several principles were agreed upon to advance the wider region toward becoming more competitive and prosperous,” he said.
He told the meeting that among the principles include the establishment of effective institutions responsible for promoting competitiveness within the private sector; prioritising the development of human capital and the acquisition of new skills and positioning innovation and high impact entrepreneurship as a determining factor for competitiveness.
“It is my hope that Trinidad and Tobago will have your support for, and full participation in, this Americas Competitiveness Conference in 2014 in Port of Spain. We look forward to support for this venture from CDB. We already have a pledge of support from the President of the Inter-American Development Bank,” Tewarie added.
Tewarie in outlining a rationale for the forum said that the region may be facing serious development challenges including a limited number and range of products and markets with concentration on natural resources or service-based products, inflexible labour markets and lower levels of productivity and export competitiveness.
“Competitiveness is one of the challenges of the region but it is also a necessary prerequisite for economic growth and development, as one of the main platforms for ensuring long-term job and prosperity growth is through the fundamental improvement in competitiveness.
“This would enable the region to compete successfully in international markets, while improving the living standards of our citizens,” he added.
In 2009, Trinidad and Tobago hosted the Summit of the Americas.