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ACS head: Building relationships among states good for investments

Thursday, April 24, 2014
The Fifth Summit of the Association of Caribbean States, which took place in Haiti on April 23-26, 2013. INSET: Alfonso Múnera, secretary general, ACS.

Transporting goods between T&T and Colombia is not easy, says Alfonso Múnera, secretary general of the Association of American States (ACS).


He related a personal experience to explain his point.


“It is not easy to transport cargo. Just trying to get something from Cartagena in Colombia to Trinidad is extremely difficult. The requirements are so complicated and I experienced that while trying to bring cargo from that Colombian city to T&T. It took more than one month to bring it here. Then it was difficult to get a company to do it. We must do something to facilitate maritime communication.”


Múnera said issues of transport routes to make trade and business easier across the Caribbean islands and Latin America are among some of the topics to be discussed at the ACS Summit at the end of April.


“If people do more business across Caribbean countries like T&T, then it results in more employment, which goes directly in solving one of our big social problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. If we start to open the relationship between Latin America and the Caribbean islands, then we have move to the next stage of joint investment and business,” he told the Business Guardian last Thursday.


The Sixth Summit of the ACS will take place in Mérida, Mexico, on April 28-30. Member states will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the ACS.


Múnera said Mexico—which is a member state of the ACS—will spend roughly US$10 million to fund four ACS projects that broadly fall under the umbrella of trade and disaster prevention.


One of the projects is interconnectivity for improved trade facilitation and short distance maritime transport in the Caribbean.


“This project is working on short distance maritime transport. We want to improve the connectivity as this is one of the biggest problems in the Caribbean, which is air and sea transport. If we want to improve trade, we need to facilitate the ongoing transportation of cargo and goods.”


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