The Caribbean Council Annual Reception 2016

The Caribbean Council Annual Reception 2016

Prime Minister Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, addresses the Caribbean Council Annual Reception,Tuesday, 19th April 2016 at the House of Lords

The Caribbean Council’s Annual House of Lords Reception provides a unique opportunity for UK, Caribbean and Central American companies to network with others from the UK and the region who are involved in supporting the region’s economic development and bilateral investment. This time we welcomed more than 300 guests, the majority from Parliament, government and the business community. We are always fortunate to hear from excellent speakers and this year’s Reception was no exception. We had the pleasure of welcoming as our guest of honour the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines: Hon. Dr Ralph Gonsalves. He shared with us his vision of the region and the routes to economic growth which he is pursuing; the challenges that natural disasters have posed for the islands; and the opportunities which exist for investment, particularly in tourism financial services and ship registration. The Prime Minister also announced an ambitious target of achieving 80% of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ energy from renewable sources by 2019; 20% already comes from hydro. He invited participants to visit St Vincent and the Grenadines and consider the many opportunities for their businesses.

James Duddridge MP, British Minister from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responsible for relations with the Caribbean, also said a few words about UK policy towards the Caribbean and updated the audience on the progress of the Government’s £300m UK-Caribbean Infrastructure Fund

Finally our Platinum sponsor, Kelly Glass, CEO of K-Group, a leading investor in infrastructure and tourism in St Vincent and the Grenadines, spoke about his experience doing business in the country. He commended the Prime Minister and government officials for their pragmatism and transparency in dealing with investors.  The Caribbean Council’s Annual Reception attracts an influential mix of MPs, Peers, High Commissioners, and Ambassadors, UK Civil Service representatives, NGOs, members of the Caribbean community in the UK and business leaders invested in or working with the Caribbean region.

Our guests enjoyed a wonderful soirée, and had the opportunity of enjoying a drink on the terrace in the warm evening sun with views over the Thames, delicious rum punch from St Vincent and the Grenadines, delicious canapes, great company, and exceptional music from one of the most well-known Caribbean steel pan bands in London.

Our marvellous Reception ended with a raffle where guests had the opportunity to win a range of fantastic prizes. One lucky person won the top prize, a two week holiday for two people to Young Island – an exclusive resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines. This wonderful prize included a day trip on a private yacht to Bequia, courtesy of K-Group and Horizon Yacht Charters.

We are extremely grateful to our sponsors:

Without them, the evening’s event would not have been possible.

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