Bureau to PH firms: Do business in Caribbean
By Yugel Losorata From Manila Times
TO most Filipinos, the Caribbean exists as a breezy, far-off tourism destination.
That view gets a significant tweak with the establishment of the Caribbean Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Bureau, which aims to foster economic cooperation between the two regions.
The bureau, formed through a partnership between the Caribbean Asean Council (CAC) and The Jump Network (TJN), aims to connect business entities from the Caribbean and Southeast Asia for sustainable goals in trade and investment. That there are Filipinos among its key personnel should serve as a natural advantage for the Philippines’ business players.
At a press conference at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City on October 24, CAC’s Filipino representative councilor, Datu Sadja Matthew Pajares Yngson, said the Caribbean was more than just sun, sea and sand, but a region of diverse opportunities.
“If you have P10 million and you want to invest that in [the] Caribbean, we will help you with the papers and provide proper advice,” he said.
Set up a few years ago, the bureau is poised to spearhead actual engagement in the next decade with its plans to conduct trade missions and hold a Caribbean investment summit, to be likely held in Indonesia, where Yngson said businessmen were more outward in their approach compared to their Asian neighbors.
“We are proud to partner with [the] CAC to make the Caribbean Asean Bureau a gateway for commercial representation toward doing business,” TJN President and Chief Executive Officer Jed Marcaida said.
A digital and managed solutions company, TJN provides relevant and customized services focusing on sales and marketing, while the CAC is, by nature, an international civil society volunteer advocacy program that deals with such matters as climate change and how that affects the business community.
“There’s a lot of business that can be done in the Caribbean. Before this bureau, there was no one dealing with business relations between [Southeast Asia] and this region,” Yngson told The Manila Times.
He said few people from the Caribbean had reached Southeast Asia, while at least one of the islands in the region could be a potential market for fishing companies here. The region is also a gateway to North America.
It is said a Cebu company already exported mangoes to the Caribbean.
“[The] Caribbean should be a new market for Southeast Asian entrepreneurs, including, of course, Filipinos. If you want to explore the opportunities in the region, talk to us,” he added.
The Caribbean is described as a vast area dotted with more than 700 islands. Among these are Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Philippines, on the other hand, is one of 10 history-rich countries in Southeast Asia. Its regional neighbors are Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Brunei Darussalam.
For more on this story go to; https://www.manilatimes.net/2019/11/03/business/sunday-business/bureau-to-ph-firms-do-business-in-caribbean/653092/