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US Senator Pledges Support for Caribbean Region

NEW YORK – United States (US) Senator Christopher Dodd, has said that his office stood ready to assist in the promotion and development of investment and trade initiatives between the US and the Caribbean.

He was responding to a range of questions and concerns at a recent meeting with members of the New York Caribbean Consular Corps, hosted by the Caribbean Trade Council of Hartford, at St. Monica’s Church Hall in Connecticut recently.

Senator Dodd told the region’s diplomats that he was a big supporter of small business ventures and would also assist in that area. “I’m a great believer in small business development; that’s where most employment comes from. Today, with the availability of the Internet, if you can have access to technology, you can market your products very well, so we’ll be glad to try and help in that area,” he stated.

The Connecticut Senator and member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (FRC), told the meeting that he would attempt to get some of the concerns shared at the meeting on the agenda for next month’s Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

US President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the Summit, where he will hold discussions with Heads of Governments and States from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.

Senator Dodd said that he was upbeat about the upcoming event, noting that it presents an opportunity to highlight and promote a range of issues impacting the region, including but not limited to the environment, trade and security.

He assured the meeting that he would make an effort to get the US Department of Commerce and the Export/Import Bank, to sit down and look at how they can jointly assist small and emerging businesses to access markets that commercial banks are sometimes too reluctant to support.

In welcoming Senator Dodd’s offer of support for the region, Consul General to New York, Geneive Brown Metzger, underlined the Government’s focus on the small business sector, noting its worth in terms of promoting entrepreneurship and employment creation.

On the matter of the environment, Consul General Brown Metzger suggested the development of partnership that would encourage businesses in recycling, especially for the benefit of beaches and coral reefs.

In addition to the Caribbean Consuls General at the meeting, present were: Mayor of the City of Hartford, Eddie A. Perez; President/Caribbean Trade Council of Hartford, Andrew Lawrence; Executive Secretary, Sheena Aimey-Petrolito; and Director/US Department of Commerce, Anne Evans.

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