Minister Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy attended in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic the most important investment trade show in all of Central America and the Caribbean. The event had hundreds of representatives from all over the world. During the investment Forum, he met with Secretary of State Jean Alain Rodriguez, Director of the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic. The Ministers discussed the importance of attracting Foreign Investment to the Caribbean.
In the event that was headed by the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, Minister Michael expressed the idea of making the Caribbean one destination for Foreign Direct Investment. The representative of Antigua and Barbuda expressed the variety of business opportunities available in our country and the government investment friendly atmosphere.
Alternative energy options was one of the main topics discussed by Minister Michael during his meetings, in which he agreed on a visiting program by business people interested making investments. Mr. Enrique Ramirez, Executive Director of the National Energy Commission of the Dominican Republic agreed to work with the Minister in looking for renewable energy options and promoting a national culture of energy conservation and efficiency.
The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, Ambassador Jose Manuel Trullos, invited Minister Asot Michael to a meeting during his visit to the Dominican Republic. In the meeting the Ministers discussed the interest to continue developing strong bilateral relations.
In the meeting Vice-Minister, Cesar Dargam and Ambassador Ivan Ogando, shared a series of projects that will benefit our nations in the areas of security, agriculture, tourism, sports and education. Adriano Herrera, the Dominican Republic Consul General in Antigua and Barbuda shared some of the progress made in trade and development.
Ing. Antonio Vargas, National Authorizing Officer for the European Development Funds, expressed his interest in jointly creating a development program that will benefit our countries with the support of the European Union. The creation of joint projects to promote regional integration will lead to more investment and development in the Caribbean.
The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs thanked Minister Michael for the cordial meeting and reminded him of the rich history and strong ties that our nations have shared for over 50 years.
The Minister for Regional Integration of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Miguel Mejia invited Minister Asot Michael to the Dominican Republic National Palace during his visit to the Dominican Republic. The meeting served to discuss the importance of our countries bilateral relations and the future visit of a Dominican Republic delegation to Antigua and Barbuda. Minister Mejia extended an invitation to Prime Minister Gaston Browne to visit the Dominican Republic. Minister Miguel Mejia expressed the interest of the Dominican Republic in the region and the different projects that are currently being developed. Minister Michael expressed the interest of Antigua and Barbuda to attract investments to Antigua and Barbuda. Ambassador Juan Guiliani Cury, said that the Dominican Republic views CARICOM as their natural partners in projects. Mr. Sadala Khoury, President of the Dominican Republic Exporters Association, expressed the interest of his sector to find partners to invest and promote exports. He recognized the advantages of manufacturing different products in Antigua and Barbuda. Minister Michael welcomed their interest in Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Hon. Charles Fernandez, made a call for increased partnerships among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to build resiliency to common vulnerabilities.
In an address given at the 2014 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference in Apia Samoa, Minister Fernandez indicated that the small size of SIDS economies increases the risk for large investment projects and thus acts as a deterrent to potential investment. Such risks, he suggested however, can be mitigated ifÂ four or more SIDS approach creditors together as joint stakeholders in individual projects; offering a safer investment for creditors and reducing the financial stress on individual SIDS countries.
The Foreign Minister also urged for the international community to consider debt forgiveness or debt restructuring at levels of interest favourable to small states and a reconsideration of the criteria used to determine the eligibility of SIDS for Official Development Assistance. Additionally, he called for urgent attention to be given to the issues of gender equity, youth participation within SIDS and the operationalization of the Special Climate Change and Adaptation Fund to greater assist SIDS face the challenges of climate change
Acting Foreign Affairs minister José Manuel Trullols on Wednesday met with Antigua & Barbuda Tourism, Economy, Development, Investment and Energy minister, Asot A. Michael, to discuss ways to bolster bilateral relations focused on the development of trade. During the meeting at the Foreign Ministry, the officials of the Caribbean nations reviewed the various aspects of the agenda on trade and agreed to continue explore topics of common interest, including energy, tourism, production of cigars, sports and education. For Michael, Dominican Republic's business sector is under continuous development. “I could see that the Dominican business sector is constantly developing and I have had the opportunity to assess business opportunities in energy, tourism, renewable energy and on various investments that can be made.” Also present in the meeting was Economic affairs deputy minister César Dargam, who lauded the visit by the Antigua & Barbuda official. “It's a great pleasure to receive the visit by minister Asot A. Michael to bring our peoples and governments even closer, for the benefit of both countries.”