During our 1st Advisory Committee meeting of 2019, held in Campari offices at the Shard, we had the honour of hosting Joanna Crellin – Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Kate Parker – former Principal Economist at the Economic Intelligence Unit.
Following introductions by the President of The Caribbean Council Lord Bruce, Joanna Crellin presented the Department of International Trade ‘s outlook on the future of UK-Caribbean relations and laid out the Government’s core strategies designed to reinforce the UK’s commercial presence and visibility in the region. Nine Caribbean countries have now signed a roll-over trade agreement with the UK, which is to facilitate the UK’s transition as a stand alone trading partner with Caribbean countries, after Brexit. In addition to trade facilitation and continued support to UK exporters to the region through UK Export Finance, the Government is now seeking to elevate the profile of Caribbean jurisdictions as profitable markets for UK exports. To this end, the Latin America and Caribbean Investment Roadshow was organised by the Department of International Trade, in order to inform local businesses across the UK about opportunities in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Kate Parker then presented on the implications of the difficult political and economic situation in Venezuela for the Caribbean region. The ongoing migration crisis, which has seen nearly 10% of the Venezuelan population flee into neighbouring countries, as well as the decline of the PetroCaribe programme, will continue to be a strain on the Caribbean region. A political solution appears to be elusive given the ramping up of rhetoric by the Trump Administration and the recent appearance of Russian troops in Venezuela.
The panel discussion was followed by a convivial reception hosted and sponsored by Campari.