The three companies, which currently provide services in the area of Green Technology in the Eastern Caribbean, namely Solife Inc (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Green Technologies (Martinique) and EcoCarib Inc (Saint Lucia), participated in the CREF, the largest annual gathering of the Caribbean energy market.
The three-day event gathered over 500 representatives from governments and the private sector from 50 countries, including 25 countries from the Caribbean. Participants had the opportunity to attend key presentations on the state of renewable energy in the region. The event also provided the three entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to network with policymakers and key players in the energy sector, as OECS Competitive Business Technical Specialist, Kwesi Roberts, highlighted.
“These events are very important as they contribute to strengthening the connection between policy makers and the private sector towards the implementation of climate resilient energy solutions in the Eastern Caribbean. The CREF enabled these firms, which are operating in this emerging sector, to identify opportunities for financing, market expansion and growth”. Roberts said.
CEO of Solife Inc, Ricardo Boatswain, also shared positive feedback on the event:
“Overall, my experience was very memorable. Important contacts were made and the conference was well coordinated and engaging. Moving forward, I will conduct a company review, make business contacts and implement some of the lessons learned which were shared at the event. Boatswain explained.
The three firms benefitted from technical assistance under the INTERREG TEECA project, which seeks to increase reciprocal trade between Martinique and the English-speaking OECS countries, as well as to foster trade between OECS Member States and joint exploration of global market opportunities. The INTERREG TEECA project currently supports 29 companies from the English-speaking OECS and Martinique to access markets by reducing technical, language and cultural barriers that inhibit intraregional trade.
Hence, the CREF mission was coordinated and led by International Development Officer at the Chamber of Commerce of Martinique, Laurence Douet; and Special Advisor for Trade and Legal Affairs at the Caribbean Export Development Agency based in Barbados, Gayle Gollop.
In closing, all of the participants indicated that the mission was well organised and successful.
The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) was launched in 2009. The annual event gathers governments, utilities, multilaterals and investors to explore opportunities to ramp up investment in clean energy across the Caribbean. The goal of CREF is to respond to a need for information, dialogue and transparency in the regional market. The event brought together over 500 delegates from 50 countries in 2019 including governments and utilities from over 20 Caribbean jurisdictions. There were also 120 speakers contributing their expertise and experience across multiple tracks, case-studies and workshops.
About the INTERREG TEECA project
The Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean (TEECA) project is co-funded by INTERREG Caraïbes and led by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Martinique (CCIM), in partnership with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), and the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique (CTM). The INTERREG TEECA project was launched in 2018. The programme aims to accelerate trade within OECS Member States by providing assistance to companies based in Martinique and the English-speaking countries of the OECS which wish to access to other markets. The INTERREG TEECA project fosters forging win-win partnerships within the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the region. Hence, 29 companies which were selected at the end of the call for projects are currently benefiting from a two-year tailor-made support programme to enable the export of their products and services to other markets.
This programme also aims to promote entrepreneurship among young people in the OECS Member States through the TECCA Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.
About INTERREG CARAIBES Programme 2014-2020
Coordinated by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe as the Managing Authority, INTERREG Caraïbes is a European Union programme which enables the French and European territories of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Saint-Martin, to undertake actions that foster cooperation with neighbouring countries of the Greater Caribbean. More than 35 countries from an area that encompasses Mexico in the north, to Venezuela in the south, are included among the potential partners of INTERREG-funded projects.