On November 21-22,2013, the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) will host its 2013 Invest Caribbean Conference for entrepreneurs, policymakers, academics, or NGOs interested in the agribusiness sector in the Caribbean in the food, biofuel, or biotechnology industries.
The conference theme of "Food, Fuel(bio), F(ph)arma, Fish" will examine potential ways to become an importer, exporter, or investor in the Caribbean's diverse agribusiness market. This event takes place at the J.W. Marriott Hotel at 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington DC.
Participants will learn about emerging trade and investment opportunities in the agribusiness sector throughout the Caribbean and challenges to sustainable and profitable partnerships. Recent trends in imports and exports between the United States and Caribbean demonstrate steady growth.
Dr. Claire Nelson, ICS President and Founder, points to this expanding opportunity as she explains that "With a food import bill of near US$3B, mostly from the US, the potential for agribusiness investment and development of the value chain is wide open in the Caribbean. Investments in the agriculture sector, can provide food security, jobs and earn foreign exchange. It is time for us to work together transform the culture of agriculture and farming in the Caribbean, to reduce if not remove our ancestral memories of slavery, and see it for the life-giving necessity that it is."
Of special interest to the participants will be Site Visits to the US Patent and Trademark Office and US Food & Drug Administration on November 21st. Speakers confirmed include the US Department of Commerce; and the DC Office of the Small and Local Business Utilization; Inter-American Institute for Corporation in Agriculture; and the University of Maryland, Center for Food Safety, and the Alliance of Black and Indigenous Farmers in Central America.
Attendees can also look at small businesses, and an update on access to financing these sectors in the Caribbean. The forum is organized in a roundtable format to encourage time for dialogue and free exchange.