Philipsburg – CARICHAM, the Network of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce, elected Dr. Thackwray “Dax” Driver, President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Trinidad & Tobago Energy Chamber as its new Chairperson and Mr. Andrew Satney, Executive Director (ED) of the St Kitts & Nevis Chamber of Commerce as its new Vice-Chair at its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on June 29th, 2020. They succeed Ms. Lizra Fabien, ED of the Dominica Association of Industry & Commerce and Mr. Trevor Fearon, former CEO of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce who functioned as Chair and Vice-Chair during the Network’s first year of operations.
Representing over 90,000 businesses, the Network, which was launched in Barbados in April 2019, comprises 21 Chambers of Commerce in 14 CARICOM member states as well as in the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Sint Maarten.
Dr. Driver, the incoming Chairperson, told participants in the virtual AGM of the Network, that over his tenure in office he would continue the thrust to ensure that CARICHAM adds value to the Chambers’ member firms, the vast majority of which are MSMEs and which have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, even as we prepare to mitigate the potential impact of the 2020 hurricane season.
Outgoing Chairperson, Lizra Fabien highlighted some of the major achievements of CARICHAM during the first year since it’s Launch. The Networks expanded by 5 Chambers to 21, to include The Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe and Sint Maarten. This growth of the Network saw an expansion of opportunities, resources, and expertise to advance core objectives of the Chambers, to include Advocacy and enhanced Membership Value.
Additionally, CARICHAM: built and strengthened partnerships with key regional and international partners such as the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Organisation if Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific States (OACPS), the CARICOM Secretariat and its various bodies such as the CARICOM Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), and the other Networks of Chambers globally; represented the interest of its Membership and the wider Private Sector regionally and internationally; hosted the CARICHAM BRICS+ Conference as a means of understanding the opportunities for doing business between CARICHAM countries as well as with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; and established the CARICHAM Regional Growth Series as a platform to share best practices among Chambers, Members and Partners.
The Network also re-committed to its objectives and 4-pillar work programme, comprising: Disaster Risk Reduction/Mitigation; Trade (Promotion/Facilitation and Transportation); Membership Value and Advocacy; and Knowledge/Best Practices Sharing.