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U.S. Experts to Speak at Seminars – Central Florida’s First Caribbean American Business Expo Conference in Orlando from June 1-3

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Florida’s expertise will be on tap at Central Florida’s First Caribbean American Business Expo and Conference in Orlando from June 1-3, 2006. Several leaders from diverse areas relevant to promoting trade and investment in a healthy business environment are making themselves available, sharing their knowledge, insights and tips to help expand business horizons in the Caribbean as well as Florida. They will be participating in quality seminars and panel discussions.

Developing the Florida Caribbean Strategic Business Link, the theme for this year’s Business Expo and Conference will be the first seminar. Manny Mencia, Senior Vice President of International Trade and Business Development Enterprise of Florida, Anton Edmunds, the executive Director of the Washington D.C. based Caribbean- Central American Action (CCAA), and Carmen Gonzalez, the Vice President of International Business Development of the Orlando Economic Development Commission(OEDC) will all participate in the panel discussions on how the Caribbean countries can take advantage of the new trading agreements to expand their exports, while the United States companies will learn how to maximize the benefits of the harmonized trade and investment regulations in the Caribbean under the new CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME).

Robert Hendry, the Chairman for Florida District Export Council, Kenneth Nadler, Vice President of International Banking of Fifth Third Bank, and Kenneth Mouradian, International Trade Specialist of the U.S. Department of Commerce will be the panelists at the seminar on” Incentives for Developing the Caribbean Florida Strategic Business Link.” They will examine the importance of understanding financing international trade, the incentives available to encourage investment, such as tax holidays and duty free concessions and Export Import Bank Financing.

“Doing Business in the Caribbean and Florida- Understanding the regulations and requirements,” is the third forum. Russ Morgan, Assistant Area Port Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Jay Todras, Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer and Annette Schmidt, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialist will discuss the new customs regulations and regulatory requirements for the import/export sector. They will offer practical information on how to ensure conformity with these requirements to avoid unnecessary delays. This forum will also address the issues related to investment regulations, permitting and environmental impact.

Lauren Brand, Director of Marketing and Trade Development at Canaveral Port Authority will chair the fourth forum on” Sea/Air Links Between Florida and The Caribbean- Developing the capacity for increased Traffic.” David Ross, Vice President of Marketing at Sea freight Agencies Inc, and Brian Edun, Marketing Manager of Laparkan Shipping will participate in the panel discussions on constraints and possible solutions for the congestion and delays in shipment of goods. They will examine the capacity of the Ports as well as the challenges of complying with the new security requirements. The issue of illegal drugs in shipments from the Caribbean and illegal weapons in shipments from the United States will also be discussed.

Gail Seeram, Attorney at Law, Immigration Lawyer will chair the forum on “Immigration Laws and Business.” Efren Cruz, Customs and Border Protection Officer- an immigration specialist, and Paul Tierney, Adjudication Officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be part of the discussions on the opportunities for foreign investors to expand their business in the United States. This seminar will offer options and strategies for obtaining immigrant and non-immigrant business visas, investor visas as well as how to register a foreign corporation and comply with the tax laws.

“Financing your New Business Venture- Developing the right approach to raising capital” will be chaired by Andre Allong, President of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, with Eduardo Santos, Area Manager of Small Business Administration and Alex Dunlap, Vice President Finance Manager of Merrill Lynch Global Banking Group leading the panel discussions. They will emphasize and advise on the importance of the right business plan, management team, networking and market to ensure business success.

“Florida Caribbean Real Estate Link- Taking Advantage of the Real Estate Markets,” will be chaired by John Munro, Real Estate Consultant. The keynote speaker will be Bill Donegan, Orange County Property Appraiser. Tara Mayson, Mortgage officer of First National Mortgage Sources, Zep Bholai-Lawrence of the Orlando International Council, and Barbara Ashley-Jones of Universal Realty will lead the panel discussions on foreign nationals purchasing property in the United States as well as United States citizens purchasing property in the Caribbean as a hedge to the cooling domestic real estate market.

For further information and registration, visit www.CaribAmericanExpo.com

The first Caribbean American Business Expo and conference will be held at the Central Florida Fair and Exposition Park (Fairgrounds) located at 4603 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, Fl 32808. The seminars will run from Friday, June 02- Saturday June 03, 2006.

Press Contact:
Carol Singh
[email protected]

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