Groundbreaking OECS Green Growth Investment Forum Hailed a Success!

Hon. Dr. Douglas Slater

(Thursday, October 13TH 2011 , BRUSSELS) – The recently concluded OECS Green Growth Investment Forum, organised by the Mission of the Eastern Caribbean States in Brussels has been hailed as a success by all stakeholders involved in the two day ground breaking event.

The Green Growth Investment Forum held on October 6 and 7 2011, sought to further an important dialogue with European partners from civil society, academia, EU institutions and private sector representatives about the need to ensure economic development while simultaneously prioritising environmental sustainability in the Eastern Caribbean, with a central role for innovation and clean technology. To that end, the Green Growth Investment Forum facilitated innovative ideas, the exchange of experiences and nurtured networks. In giving his thoughts on the OECS Mission led Green Growth Investment Forum initiative, Welectricity Inc. Founder, Mr. Herbert Samuel described the event as timely: “The event appeared to be timely and successful and I believe I have made useful contacts that should serve to help the move towards greater energy efficiency and carbon reduction, in the near future.”

The Forum, which was opened by H.E Shirley Skerritt-Andrew, Ambassador/Head of Mission of the Eastern Caribbean States, spoke of the opportunities available for OECS Member States regarding green technologies: “The Eastern Caribbean has much to offer to the world, and specifically to Europe, and much of it is in the area of the development and utilization of green technologies that preserve the environment while promoting economic growth that provide dividends to investors as well as to the natural habitat of our populations.”

Building on this invitation to make green investments in the OECS region was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Dr. Douglas Slater, who outlined that the OECS and its Member States have demonstrated a commitment to integration that has resulted in political stability, sound and secure financial and capital markets, and a highly educated and motivated people: “These, together with their manageable size and the urgency to develop in harmony with their environment, makes the region an attractive and appealing green investment destination across any sector, be it in eco-manufacturing, ICT, tourism, creative and cultural industries, energy and energy efficiency, agriculture, eco-construction and infrastructure development.” Mr. Slater also lauded private companies operating in the region such as Welectricity and West Indies Power as trail blazers for their efforts to promote green enterprises.

One of the key outcomes of the Forum was a proposal by Paula Calderon of the Saint Lucia Manufacturing Association, who called for a partnership between institutions such as UNIDO and the CDE and the private sector in the region to develop a Green Enterprise Award that promotes and supports green enterprise development across the region. These institutions readily accepted the invitation. To take forward the objectives of the Forum, the Mission of the Eastern Caribbean States will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to bring to fruition many of the ideas coming out of the Forum.

The Green Growth Investment Forum was made possible by the generous contribution of the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE), the main sponsor of the event, as well as the CTA, OAS, EUCARINET/ENLACE, OIF, Taipei Representative Office in Brussels, Caribbean Export and CEIS. To learn more about the Mission of the Eastern Caribbean States and to access the presentations and outcome documents of the Green Growth Investment Forum, please visit the Mission’s website at http://oecs.org/ecs-mission-in-brussels.

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