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  • Writer's pictureCaribbean Israel Leadership Coalition


The Caribbean Israel Leadership Coalition (CILC) has hosted another successful Israeli Technology Conference, this time in the nation of Suriname. After the attendance of the inaugural conference in Barbados in June 2017, The Suriname delegation headed by CILC Representatives for Suriname Pastor Kelvin Jon Ming and Ms. Kenya Pansa, the District Commissioner for the District of Brokopondo have been keen and passionate about how the Israeli Technology available could have a positive impact on their nation and move it to the next level. Therefore, they requested that a Trade Mission be held there some five months later.

From left: CILC Representatives for Suriname Pastor Kelvin Jon Ming and Kenya Pansa with CILC Representative for St. Maarten Gregory Arrindell (third from left) and member of the Suriname delegation at the June 2017 Israeli Caribbean Technology and Innovation Conference in Barbados.

CILC then partnered with the Government of Suriname to host the Israeli Suriname Technology & Investment Conference from November 8th to 10th at the Royal Torarica Hotel in Paramibo, Suriname.

About one hundred and fifty business men and government representatives were in attendance on both days as well as the CILC and the Israeli Delegation. The CILC Delegation was led by President of CILC, Bishop Andre Thomas while the Israeli delegation was headed by CILC Representative for Israel Mrs Maayan Navon. CILC advisor for National Security Commander Garvin Heerah also attended as well as CILC Representatives for St. Maarten, Mr. Gregory Arrindell and Bishop Orlando Wilson.

From left: Commander Garvin Heerah (CILC Advisor for National Security, Bishop Andre Thomas (President of CILC), Mr. Cesar Pena (Israeli Representative of Mer Group), Mr. Erez Zaionce (Head of Trade and Economic Missions to Colombia and the Caribbean) and Mrs. Maayan Navon (CILC Representative for Israel)

Opening remarks were made by the Deputy President of Suriname Excellency Michael Ashwin Adhin and Israeli Government Representative – Head of Trade and Economic Missions to Colombia and the Caribbean Mr. Erez Zaionce. President of CILC Andre Thomas also made an opening speech before the Israeli and Surinamese presentations began.

From left: Maayan Navon (CILC Representative for Israel), Erez Zaionce (Head of Trade and Economic Missions to Colombia and the Caribbean) and Ferdinand Walzijn (Suriname Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism ) at the Day one presentations.

The format for the conference followed the Barbados Conference format where day one consisted of presentations and day two followed with business matching meetings and the Night to Honor Israel event.

Each Company made a fifteen minute presentation on what they had to offer the Nation of Suriname. Some of these companies included IDE Technologies – leaders in Water Technology, Pexgol – an innovative new technology pipes company, Mer Group – leaders in Cyber Security globally, Agro-Business – an exciting agricultural full solution company, Dignia Systems – Leaders of Homeland Security Solutions and Products and NandanJain – an irrigation solution company.

Successful Meetings

Meetings were had with the Governor of the Central Bank of Suriname Glenn Gersie to discuss the potential investment opportunities in Surname for the Israeli investors who were ready to inject into the Suriname market. The potential markets, interests and possibilities were discussed and processes to be followed to get started were identified, proving to be a fruitful meeting.

CILC and Israeli Delegation discussing possibilities at the Central Bank of Suriname with the Governor

From left: Bishop Steve Meye (Ambassador of Suriname to Israel), Ms. Kenya Pansa (District Commissioner for the district of Brokopondo Suriname and CILC Government Representative), Mr. Glenn Gersie (Governor of the Central Bank of Suriname), Bishop Andre Thomas

(President of CILC), Mr. Erez Zaionce (Head of Trade and Economic Missions to Colombia and the Caribbean) and Ms. Reina Raveles (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism

Closed door Cyber and Homeland Security sessions were also held with the National Security Team of Suriname to discuss Cyber and Homeland Security solutions by the Mer Group and Dignia systems. Telecom and smart city initiatives were also presented and discussed. A meeting was also held with the Justice and Police Force to discuss similar solutions. The Security Forces expressed their main areas of challenge and the solutions presented were readily accepted and the process for implementation was discussed and explored.

Agro Business had successful meetings with the District Commissioners of four districts in Suriname where they discussed the agricultural opportunities in Surname and the amazing technology from Israel and all four districts expressed interest in having projects started in the near future.

Mer Group also made a connection with the Kenki Electric Company in Suriname to discuss smart street light poles and its potential revenue earner which was a well-received concept.

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