US Senator Christopher Dodd says his office stands ready to assist the promotion and development of investment and trade initiatives between the US and the Caribbean region, in whatever way possible.
Responding to a range of questions and concerns at a recent meeting with members of the New York Caribbean Consular Corp, hosted by the Caribbean Trade Council of Hartford, Connecticut, at the St. Monica’s Church Hall, Hartford, Senator Dodd said that he was a big supporter of micro business ventures.
“I’m a great believer in small business development. That’s where most employment comes from. Today with the availability of the internet, if you can have access to technology, you can market your products very well, so we’ll be glad to try and help in that area.”
Dodd, a Connecticut Senator and member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (FRC), told the meeting that he would try to get some of the concerns shared at the meeting on the agenda for next month’s Summit of the Americas in Trinidad & Tobago.
US President Barack H. Obama is scheduled to attend the summit with heads of government from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.
Dodd said that he was upbeat about the summit taking place in Trinidad & Tobago, noting that it presents an opportunity to highlight and promote a lot of issues impacting the region, including but not limited to the environment, trade and security.
Senator Dodd assured the meeting that he would make an effort to get the US Department of Commerce and the Export/Import Bank to sit down and look at how they can jointly assist small and emerging businesses to access markets that commercial banks are sometimes too reluctant to support.
In welcoming Senator Dodd’s offer to help the region, Consul General of Jamaica, Mrs. Geneive Brown Metzger underlined the government’s focus on the small business sector, noting its worth as the biggest job creator.
On the matter of the environment, Consul General Brown Metzger intimated a partnership that would encourage entrepreneurship in recycling especially for the benefit of our beaches and coral reefs.
Also present at the meeting were; Dr. Harold Robertson, Consul General of Trinidad & Tobago in New York; Hon. Eddie A. Perez, Mayor of the City of Hartford, Connecticut; Ms. Anne Evans, Director/US Department of Commerce; Mr. Andrew Lawrence, President/Caribbean Trade Council of Hartford, CT; and Ms. Sheena Aimey-Petrolito, Executive Secretary/Caribbean Trade Council of Hartford, CT.