Douglas Orane is Chairman & CEO Of GraceKennedy Limited, a leading pan-Caribbean company. This address was delivered at the Fourth Annual Private Sector Meeting/Dinner with CARICOM Ministers of Trade and Finance on June 13, 2009.
In it, Mr. Orane calls for speedy action on establishing the regional financial services agreement and a regional stock exchange, early removal of remaining bureaucratic obstacles to the free movement of capital and skilled labour, substitution of a culture of decison-making and implementation for the culture of meetings and speeches, and greater use of teleconferencing for more frequent meetings among Caricom leaders.
Earlier this year I referred to the global financial crisis when speaking with my colleagues in GK as the equivalent of a Force Five hurricane approaching our region from the Atlantic and with us starting to feel the outer bands of wind. The reality now, in June, is that the hurricane season is here and the hurricane has hit.
What I would like to do is share with you, how we in GraceKennedy prepared ourselves for this hurricane, how are we surviving and thriving in it and what lessons are there, not only for other companies and individuals in the Caribbean but also for our governments and for our Caribbean society as a whole.