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Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle

3/19/2007

An Open Letter to Trinidadian and Jamaican Businesspeople

Written to the recipients of the report: "The Trinidadian Executive in Jamaica."

As a recipient of our recent report "The Trinidadian Executive in Jamaica" I can imagine that the current volley of words flowing back and forth between Trinidad and Jamaica has caught your attention.

If so, I would like to you to consider taking time out of your busy schedule to put some muscle behind the formation of a Trinidadian-Jamaican ("Trini-Jam") Chamber of Commerce.

Clearly, the growing environment of distrust and harsh words is bad for business on both sides of the Caribbean. No-one is winning, and the upset words being spoken in public are going to be harder and harder for those speaking them to take them back. Unchecked, this probably can and will grow worse.

I don't know about you, but I believe that we, Trinidadians and Jamaicans, can all do much more, and probably should have done much more a long time ago to help create stronger and more lasting bridges between businessmen in both countries.

I suspect that you know what I am talking about. You know Trinidadian and Jamaican businesspeople who have never visited the other island saying things that you know are sheer nonsense, and come from a simple lack of experience. You may have heard talk about people being "backward," and other talk of "Tricky-dadians."

What it will take to reverse the current slide into something none of us can afford is simple -- it will take you and I. We are ones to be proactive, and to forge an environment of trust, partnership and prosperity.

Let us:
  • meet to get a Trinidadian-Jamaican Chamber off the ground, with a chapter in Kingston and another in Port of Spain

  • pass this email on to others who have a vested interest in Trinidadian-Jamaican business relations

  • start to convince our colleagues in the two countries to get on planes, attend trade shows, take vacations -- whatever they need to do to start to become familiar with our countries
First step: send me an email to francis@fwconsulting.com letting me know that you are interested in participating (i.e. with some of your personal time) in the formation of a Trinidadian-Jamaican Chamber. I will schedule a face-to-face meeting once we have 5-8 who are interested here in Kingston.

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