Of the 21 Commonwealth Business Forums (CBF) held throughout the globe, T&T has been described as the best participant since 1971. The praise came from Paul Skinner, chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council, as he wrapped up the closing session of the (CBF) yesterday, on board the visiting cruise liner Serenade of the Seas. Delivering his final words to the business sector, Malaysia Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak and director and chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Business Council Dr Mohan Kaul, Skinner said, in numbers, the CBF was the best ever and even tipped his hat to Prime Minister Patrick Manning for hosting the event.
The first CBF was held in 1971. During the four days of plenary sessions, Skinner revealed that more than 1,000 business and government leaders from 50- plus countries participated. "We were privileged to have discussions with ten heads of government and 40 ministers," he said. "More than 30 substantive sessions were held on the issues of the day, each generating recommendations and ideas for government and business." All the sessions have been summarised and would be on-line. Also, streamed all plenary presentations would be live on CBC Web site next week.
The hosting of the CBF, Skinner said, provided an opportunity to develop the natural position of the region as a facilitator for linkages between the Commonwealth and the American countries. "New trade business opportunities between the Commonwealth and the Americas illustrate the potential of new partnership within a globalised economy," Skinner said. "This forum illustrated that the potential is scarcely tapped. A large majority of the international business delegates to Trinidad and Tobago have never engaged with the Caribbean before." He also noted that sustainable growth required a positive and synergetic relationship between markets and people. Skinner also urged the heads of government to look at the forum's recommendations.