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Dec 6, 2011

IDB and Caribbean Export Agency Seminar

Amongst the topics discussed at the Science, Technology and Innovation Caribbean Network Series was Regional Integration.  Because Belize has a unique geography and history, it is hoped that the Jewel can bridge the networks of both Caribbean and Central America.

Flora Montealegre Painter, IDB Science and Tech. Division Chief

“Regional integration is a priority of our bank. In fact in our recent capital increase, the governors of our bank who are all the member countries from the Caribbean as well as Latin America, in addition to the non baring member countries; they gave us a very clear mandate with specific targets in terms of how much we have to lend in terms of regional integration targets. In the case of the Caribbean, precisely because of geography and the small size of the economies, regional integration is even a more important issue than in many other parts of Latin America. So that I think it always has been a priority for the bank and it will continue to be a priority.”

Mike Singh, Board Member, Caribbean Export Development Agency

Flora Montealegre Painter

“And from Caribbean export development agency standpoint, that is a major part of what we are looking at. We, Belize, fall in a unique position—we are members of SICA as well as members of CARICOM and I am a constant advocate within every forum that we should really be the bridge to not just integrate the sub-regions, but also integrate the regions together. There’s many programs that Caribbean export is doing along with Compete Caribbean which is a division of the IDB where we’re doing a program of activities that will kinda wind up activities among the countries. One in particular that we’re clearly excited about is the development of small business development centers which is like an incubation system for small businesses where we can develop several of those centers within countries in our region that can encourage not just development of the small businesses, but also encourage trade with small business from one region in to another or one country into another through a network of sharing information and opportunities. That’s something that Caribbean Export has very high on the agenda.”

The workshop concluded at the Radisson Hotel.

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