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St. Thomas to Host Caribbean Business Conference


Nov. 4, 2005 – St. Thomas will host the 10th annual Caribbean Multinational Business Conference to be held Nov. 10 through Nov. 13 at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa.
"The conference has become a highly successful annual event for those interested in creating profitable business partnerships in the Caribbean and for government representatives whose goal is to improve the quality of people's lives," Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards said in a news release issued by conference organizers.
Averricia Williams, who handles public relations and marketing for the Economic Development Authority, said local residents are welcome to attend the event. The fee for locals to attend the entire conference runs $50 plus the cost of the meals.
Registration forms are available on St. Thomas and St. Croix at EDA offices, the lieutenant governor's office, the delegate to Congress' office, and Chamber of Commerce offices. Additionally, forms are available at the administrator's office on St. John.
Williams said people are encouraged to register by Monday.
The event brings together business people from across the Caribbean and mainland. Along with government officials, the aim of those attending the conference is to create a business link between the Caribbean and the mainland as well as to foster relationships and cut deals.
"We in Congress and outside of it know the value of the conference both in terms of the business ventures that evolve out of the private meetings and the public sessions and the discussions which take place," Delegate Donna M. Christensen said in the news release.
Issues include foreign investment, access to markets, the essential role of the private sector, economic expansion, job creation, and information communications technology.
The conference theme is "Aligning Business Strategies for Global Competitiveness."
Williams said that since the business world is becoming more globalized, the event will give Virgin Islands residents an opportunity to network with people from dozens of countries.
She expects more than 300 people to attend.
Workshop subjects include globalization and the Caribbean, U.S./Caribbean relations, safety and security of the Caribbean, health, travel and tourism, strategies for marketing Caribbean culture, and entrepreneurship in the Diaspora.
Roundtable discussions include offshore medical facilities in the Caribbean, diversity and accountability in corporations, safety and security, Haiti, sustainable use of marine resources, technology in sustainable development, and investment opportunities and private equity.
Community outreach forums will be held Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 at Charlotte Amalie High School auditorium. The Nov. 11 topic is education, with health to be the topic of the Nov. 12 forum. Both run from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Shoe designer Lisa Mosely said she will attend the conference to express pride in her St. Thomas heritage. She said her grandfather was Orthaniel Wheatley. Based in Chestnut Ridge, New York, Mosely said she's bringing down her line of Sandal Solé shoes to exhibit at the conference and show to businesses around the Caribbean.
St. Croix hosted the conference in 1998. Other countries that have hosted the conference include Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, Bahamas and St. Kitts.
The New York-based Carib News is the event's main sponsor.
For more information, visit www.caribnewsconference.com.

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