THE US Department of State yesterday announced the creation of the Caribbean IdEA Marketplace (CIM), partnering with Scotiabank, the bank with the largest commercial footprint in the Caribbean and telecommincations giant Digicel.
CIM will be a structured business competition with the main objective of fostering collaboration on innovative projects between Caribbean entrepreneurs and those in their global diaspora.
Other partners include the Inter-American Development Bank. The objective of CIM is to support the development of diaspora-centred partnerships that promote trade and investment, volunteerism, philanthropy, diplomacy, entrepreneurship and innovation.
CIM is an offshoot of the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA), which was launched by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 17, 2011, as an innovative platform for public-private-sector partnerships designed to engage diaspora communities, the private sector and public institutions in a collaborative process.
Commenting on CIM, Clinton said, "As a collaborator, we will work closely with diaspora leaders and other partners to implement projects and maximise our impact."
Initial focus countries include The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Suriname, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago - countries where Scotiabank Group has a presence and which are primed for economic development.
"Scotiabank is excited to partner with the US Department of State to support the Caribbean IdEA Marketplace, which strongly aligns with the bank's focus of collaborating across borders to strengthen the businesses and economies of the communities where we live and work," said Bruce Bowen, president and CEO, Scotiabank Group, Jamaica. "Scotiabank has been committed to the Caribbean for more than 120 years and this region is an integral part of our continued success."
Meanwhile, Colm Delves, Group CEO of Digicel, explains; "The six million-strong global diaspora community consists of highly skilled and educated entrepreneurs and is acknowledged as an important engine of growth and development in the United States and beyond.
"As the number-one mobile operator in the region, Digicel has been instrumental in driving innovation, growing economies and creating employment opportunities for the people of the Caribbean. As such, we applaud the US Department of State's commitment to spurring employment and economic growth in the Caribbean and are delighted to be a part of this fantastic programme."