On Thursday, September 26th, 2019 the Caribbean Israel Leadership Coalition (CILC) held its first Caribbean Israel Economic Forum in New York. The event was held at the Bridge Multicultural & Advocacy Project in its New York branch office. The Forum brought together representatives from a number of Caribbean nations, the State of New York and the Israeli community to present investment and business opportunities in the areas of Agriculture; Oil, Gas, and Mineral; Cyber Security Technology and Housing aimed at supporting the Caribbean nations. This forum focused on opportunities within four target countries the Republic of Suriname; Bahamas, St. Maarten and Trinidad and Tobago.
The forum was opened by the Founder and President of CILC, Bishop Andre Thomas and Mr. Mark Appel the Founder of The Bridge Multicultural & Advocacy Project and hosted by Apostle James Duncan, CILC Advisory Board Member. Presentations were made by the Hon. Mr. Sergio Akiemboto, Minister of Natural Resources in Suriname, Ms. Caron Shepherd, President of the Bahamas Agri Entrepreneur Cooperative, Ms. Sarah Nangoo, Director and Head of Operations, Think Tank Investment Ltd. (Trinidad and Tobago) and Mr. Gregory Arindell, CILC Representative of St. Maarten. These presenters shared on business opportunities within their respective countries, the Republic of Suriname in the area of oil, gas, and minerals; Bahamas for agriculture and housing, and housing in the countries of St. Maarten and Trinidad and Tobago. These presentations also avail Israeli technologies which could provide solutions to the maximize each of the featured sectors. One such technology was presented by a representative from the Israeli technology company Cyabra who provided insight into their cybersecurity technology which has the capability to identify and safeguard clients from fake news.
These presentations were keenly received by the participants, which included Isaac Katan of the Katan Group one of leading real estate companies and businessmen in New York who was present to give his support and fellowship to the event.
The evening session brought together key leaders from New York, Israel, and the Caribbean, that came and showed their support and approval of the work being conducted by CILC. This included keynote speakers, Council member Farah Louis of the 45th District of New York, Hon. Mr. Sergio Akiemboto, Minister of Natural Resources in Suriname and Hon. Inon Elroy, Israel Economic Minister to North America. During this session, the vision and next steps of CILC were shared by the Founder and President Bishop Andre Thomas. Also, in attendance were Rabbi Mendy Carbach, Min. Yldiz Deborah Pollack-Beighle, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Suriname; Ms. Kitty Sweeb Ambassador of Suriname to the United Nations, De. Bass Paul D., Vice President of Suriname Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. William Lake, Coach and Owner of Webmaker and other distinguished guests.
During the evening’s proceedings special attention and donations were given to the Bahamas, where two of their islands were severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian. A presentation was conducted by Ms. Caron Shepherd of the Bahamas on the damaged that occurred on the islands and the work of IsraelAid within Grand Bahamas and Abaco.
Caribbean counterparts were also able to participate in a tour of CYBERGYM in New York on the following day. CYBERGYM is a global cybersecurity leader, providing organizations with the training, knowledge and tools required to defend their critical systems, infrastructures, utilities and sensitive data against complex, ever-evolving cyberthreats1.
This Caribbean Israel Economic Forum – New York event was mark as a success as new partnerships were created and investment opportunities provided to enhance and showcase the resources and potential of the Caribbean. The presentations showcased the varied and readily available investment opportunities in the prime area of the Caribbean. The event provided a unique opportunity to build strong partnerships to support the Caribbean region both for participants who are seeking to give back and for those who seek to strengthen regional economies through greater investment in the region.