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October 2018

Chamber and Brasenose College Oxford to work together in Caribbean

CHAMBER Chief Executive Dr Ian Kelly was recently Guest of Honour at Brasenose College, Oxford, High Table Dinner, arranged by the College’s Grimbarian Principal, John Bowers QC.

In conjunction with the Latin America Centre in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, the two organisations will be working via the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce to explore hemispheric changes in globalisation which are impacting on the small island states of the anglophile Caribbean.

The Chamber is also leading a trade delegation to the Caribbean in January 2019, which is expected to include a series of high level meetings with key island Prime Ministers, Ministers and business leaders in pursuance of Britain’s newly emerging trade agenda with the Caribbean post Brexit.

Dr Ian Kelly said: “It’s a genuine pleasure to follow in the footsteps of various Prime Ministers and Archbishops of Canterbury as the Principal’s guest – but most especially my favourite band The Beatles, who according to the photos, were here in the late 60s”.

Dr Kelly (pictured left) with John Bowers QC.

June 2018

The View from Westminster

IN the shadow of Margaret Thatcher’s famous statue in the House of Commons, British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) leaders Dr Ian Kelly, Pauline Wade and John Kennedy took a tour around the Palace after an enjoyable dinner in the Stranger’s Dining Room to review and update on issues of mutual interest.

Their Parliamentary host for the evening was Andrew Rosindell MP, Secretary of the British Caribbean All Party Parliamentary Group. Colleagues discussed a range of issues from the Windrush immigration debacle to the post hurricane recovery programme in the British Overseas Territories in particular.

Financial regulations, tourism, the Commonwealth, changes in Cuba and Donald Trump’s America First policy were also subjects under discussion around the table.

Pictured (left to right) are John Kennedy BCCC Hon Chair St Lucia, Pauline Wade, BCCC Deputy CEO, Andrew Rosindell MP and Secretary of the British Caribbean All Party Parliamentary Group and Ian Kelly, the Chief Executive of the BCCC.

May 2018

Minister updated on work in Caribbean

THE British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce’s Deputy Chief Executive, Pauline Wade, recently met with the UK’s Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart MP to discuss the work the Chamber is doing internationally and in the Caribbean.

Mr Stuart acknowledged the expertise the Chamber offers and its international networks and welcomed its support and advice for UK businesses wishing to trade with the Caribbean.

The Chamber’s extensive network is of great value to companies aspiring to trade in the Caribbean and the Chamber is well placed to assist those companies with their Caribbean intelligence through its offices in Trinidad, St Lucia and exclusive networks in the Grand Bahamas and Cuba.

Thursday 19th April 2018

Havana to Hull on historic day for Cuba

THE Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce and its sister Chamber, the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, were delighted to host the Cuban Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Teresita Vicente Sotolongo, on her first official visit to Hull this week. (Thurs, April 19th, 2018)

The Ambassador’s visit coincided with a historic day back in Havana, Cuba, as Raul Castro stepped down as President of the Republic to be replaced by Miguel Diaz-Canel. The Hull visit followed a trip to Cuba earlier this year which saw the Patron of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and former Home Secretary, Lord Michael Howard of Lympne, sign a Memorandum of Understanding to improve trade links between the two Chambers of Commerce in Hull and Havana.

The Cuban Ambassador, who is particularly interested in supporting the introduction of renewable energy to Cuba, visited Spencer Group’s Energy Works, in Hull, which specialises in innovative renewable energy technologies and turns recycled waste into energy. The facility in Hull is the first of its kind in the UK.

The Ambassador then joined the Lord Mayor of Hull, Cllr John Hewitt, the Leader of Hull City Council, Cllr Stephen Brady and Chamber Chief Executive Dr Ian Kelly, plus a collection of other leading business figures for lunch in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Guildhall.

After lunch, the Chamber’s International Trade Director, Pauline Wade, accompanied the Ambassador and her party on a private visit to Burton Agnes Hall to tour the venue with a view to bringing Cuban performers to a future jazz festival at the hall. This follows on from the Chamber’s bringing in St Lucian artists from the Caribbean during Hull’s City of Culture year in 2017 to both Hull and Burton Agnes.

Commenting on the Cuban Ambassador’s visit, Dr Kelly said: “The Ambassador paid tribute to our local business connections to the Republic which go back to the turn of the Century and indicated to the Lord Mayor and assembled guests, including the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, her intention to report back personally to the new President of the Republic about the opportunities for friendship and stronger trade links with this part of the world”.

PICTURE CAPTION: Pictured at the Guildhall are (from left) Dr Kelly, the Cuban Ambassador and Daren Hale, the Deputy Leader of Hull City Council.

April 11 2018

British-Caribbean Chamber Meets GBPA executives

THE Hon Patron of the British-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) Lord Michael Howard of Lympne, a former British Home Secretary, and the BCCC’s Deputy Chief Executive Pauline Wade recently paid a visit to Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) executives.

The BCCC, which was inaugurated in 2001, has its head office in the UK and Chapters in the Caribbean. It connects Caribbean countries, and aims to develop trade and investment opportunities with the UK.

It is a ‘daughter Chamber’ of the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, one of the UK’s 52 Chambers which are accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce. The Hull & Humber Chamber is one of the oldest in the UK, dating back to 1837.

The GBPA, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) and the BCCC will continue to work together to solidify Grand Bahama’s trade relationships with the UK and other nations.

Pictured during the visit(from left) are Rupert Hayward of GBPA, Tanisha Thiara, Honorary Secretary of the BCCC in Grand Bahama, Lord Howard, Sarah St George of GBPA, Henry St George of GBPA, Pauline Wade and Michael Holding, President of the GBCC.

March 27th 2018

Talking trade, tourism and cricket over lunch in Caribbean

BRITISH Caribbean Chamber of Commerce Patron Lord Howard of Lympne and Chief Executive Dr Ian Kelly met leading Assemblyman Joel Jack from the Tobago House of Assembly recently as their teams gathered to enjoy a traditional Caribbean lunch at the Blue Waters Inn Speyside in Tobago.

Colleagues discussed business links between Tobago and the UK noting the different profiles of Tobago and its big sister island of Trinidad. Tourism, entrepreneurship, devolved relationships, Brexit and the Commonwealth were all discussed at the meeting.

The most contentious item was however the BCCC’s repeat of Geoffrey Boycott’s recent declaration to the Chamber that the best West Indies batsman ever was Barbadian Gary Sobers, not Trinidad and Tobago’s Brian Lara! Thankfully nothing else caused indigestion.

Included in the picture are (from second left) Joel Jack, Lord Howard, Dr Kelly and the Chamber’s International Trade Director Pauline Wade.

August 2017

British Caribbean Chamber bowled over by record-breaking second England v West Indies Test Match

THE UK-headquartered British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) has been pushing the boundaries of international relations during the latest five-day test match between England and the West Indies at Headingley, in Leeds.

Specially invited Chamber guests were visited at the Test Match by England cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott OBE and his wife Rachael at a lunch hosted by Patron of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, Lord Michael Howard of Lympne, the former Conservative Party Leader and Home Secretary.

Other business guests included representatives of ABP, P&O Ferries, the Johnson Group plc, Finance Yorkshire and Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce.

As cricket aficionados will know, the classic, record-breaking match saw the West Indies go on to claim an historic win by five wickets, the first time they have beaten England in 17 years to level the current series, with the final test still to be played at Lords in September.

Guests enjoyed some early-morning celebrity spotting, as another cricketing legend, the former Captain of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England fast-bowler Darren Gough plus fellow cricketer Richard Blake popped in for a chat, before being entertained with cricketing anecdotes by Geoffrey himself over lunch.

Chamber CEO Dr Ian Kelly said: “It was a highly enjoyable day, we had glorious sunshine for most of the day, the atmosphere, helped by the Caribbean steel band, was superb, and the crowd was full of fun and enthusiasm.

“It was also a useful opportunity for our business guests to meet informally and to use Headingley’s excellent facilities to nurture international trade links between the British and Caribbean markets”.

Pictured at Headingley are cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott (left) with Chamber Vice President Sally Booker and Ian Kelly.

June 2017

Global Trade Links Dinner and Jazz

AS part of Hull’s City of Culture year in 2017, the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and its sister Chamber, the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce in the UK, organised an evening of Caribbean cuisine and jazz at Hull’s famous 1884 Dock Street Kitchen, in June, 2017.

The evening began with a cocktail reception sponsored by St Lucia Distilleries, followed by a showcase dinner featuring British and Caribbean cuisine.

After dinner there were performances by two exceptionally talented jazz musicians from the island of Saint Lucia, Claudia and Chrycee.

The Chamber wishes to acknowledge the support of the Government of Saint Lucia and Simon Cunliffe-Lister, owner of Burton Agnes Hall, for their hard work enabling us to bring to the region Saint Lucia’s jazz talent for all to enjoy.

Later, the Burton Agnes Jazz Festival featured special guests from St Lucia such as the sax-led quartet Dynamix, the steel pans and guitar of the Rupert Lay Quartet as well as Claudia and Chrycee who performed throughout the weekend at the Burton Agnes Jazz Festival.

March 2017

Bringing UK buyers to see Caribbean speciality products

IN March 2017 the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in association with the Trade and Export Agency of St Lucia (Tepa) organised a buyers’ visit to the Speciality Caribbean Exposition in St Lucia. Delegates to the Expo included Simon Cunliffe-Lister, owner of Burton Agnes in Yorkshire, whose grandfather Willie Whitelaw was British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Deputy during the 1980s. Other key visitors included Gizelle Fleischacker of Viking Foods and Duncan Hider, Managing Director of Hider Foods in Hull. Pictured reviewing Viking’s products at the Expo are (from left) Simon Cunliffe-Lister, Pauline Wade from the BCCC, Gizelle Fleischhacker, a director of Viking Foods and Duncan Hider of Hider Foods.

December 2016

When Harry met Kelly in St Lucia

ONE of the most successful legs of Prince Harry’s Royal Tour of the Caribbean in December was his stopover in St Lucia where the Governor General of St Lucia, Pearlette Louisy, hosted a glittering reception at Government House. The British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce supported the event with several of its leading members providing food and beverages as part of the hospitality.

Prince Harry talked cricket when he met with British Caribbean Chamber Chief Executive Dr Ian Kelly, who doubles up as the Chief Executive of Hull & Humber Chamber in the UK, which founded the bilateral Chamber in 2001 with Hull MP Alan Johnson.

Despite Prince Harry saying: “I think my best cricketing days are over” he went on the day after to hit two fours off the bowling of St Lucia Prime Minister Alan Chastanet at a celebrity match at the national Darren Sammy cricket stadium.

Earlier, Dr Kelly met with former St Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King, where he highlighted that both he and British Caribbean Chamber Patron Lord Howard of Lympne, the former Conservative Party Leader, shared the same view that Britain’s Brexit decision could provide new trading opportunities for Britain and the Caribbean.

October 12 2016

Bank report on the Brexit effect on the Caribbean

A NEWLY published bank report on the effects of Brexit on Caribbean economies has been welcomed by The British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce Saint Lucia Chapter.

The Inter-American Development Bank’s independent analysis says the effects will be negligible for 2016/17 as the Chamber pledges to play its part in supporting regional initiatives to engage with the UK in defining a post-Brexit landscape that will favour the Caribbean.

John Kennedy, Honorary Chairman of the British Caribbean Chamber St Lucia Chapter said “the report highlights some risk and is right to do so, but its underlying conclusions are that the direct and indirect macroeconomic impacts of Brexit are small if not negligible.

There are no estimated dire consequences during 2016 and 2017 on remittances, exports, or tourism, and therefore no significant effect on economic growth in the region.

The report also makes the point that the Caribbean’s exposure to UK market volatility has been significantly insulated since regional Independence through growing trade relationships with other markets”.

“As a Chamber we stand ready to offer whatever support regional industry feels is appropriate during their engagement with the UK post-Brexit.”

The Inter-American Development Bank report also concludes that the Caribbean’s relationship with the EU on trade will continue unchanged through the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and associated development support.

The report focused on six Caribbean countries; The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago and estimated the quantitative impact of Brexit to be very small if not negligible, pointing out that predictions of dire consequences for the Caribbean have dominated the region’s headlines and prophesied grim consequences for trade relations, immigration, tourism, financial relations and foreign policy.

But the independent report estimated that in fact the direct and indirect macroeconomic impacts of Brexit are small if not negligible and therefore of no significant effect on regional economic growth. Thus, the recent headlines have been misleading.

The report addressed recent claims that Tourism is uniquely exposed to the short-term economic effects of Brexit due to the devaluation of the Pound Sterling against the US/Dollar rate, whereby holidays in the Caribbean have become more expensive for the British.

But the report concluded that Tourism to small islands is less sensitive to changes in the country’s real exchange rate, but more susceptible to the introduction and removal of direct flights and that price elasticity is statistically insignificant for “high-end” Caribbean destinations.

The report concluded that it was correct that the region engage with the UK in defining a post-Brexit landscape that will favour the Caribbean and to define what the region would like to get out of mutually beneficial relationships with the EU, UK and be proactive in initiating early engagement with the EU and UK.

Pictured are John Kennedy (centre) and Lord Howard (left) with the Governor General of Saint Lucia, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy (right).

October 2016

Cricket legend Boycott celebrates tastes of St Lucia

GEOFFREY Boycott OBE with Dr Ian Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, celebrating
A Taste of St Lucia and the Best of Yorkshire Evening, 7th October, 2016

March 2016

Lord Howard signs a MOU in St Lucia

DURING a visit to St Lucia in March 2016, the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce’s Honorary Patron, Lord Michael Howard of Lympne, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Trade Export Promotion Agency (Tepa) to boost trade.

Lord Howard, a former British Home Secretary, was accompanied on his visit by the Deputy Chief Executive of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, Pauline Wade. He is seen here signing the document watched by a representative of the St Lucian Government.

February 2016

British Prime Minister thanks Chamber for its work in Caribbean

PRIME Minister David Cameron has written to Lord Howard thanking him for the work that the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) does in the Caribbean.

The BCCC was founded and is managed by the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, making it the only Chamber in the UK to directly run a British bi-lateral Chamber of Commerce.

Lord Howard visited the Caribbean earlier this year following David Cameron’s trip in September 2015 when he became the first serving British Prime Minister in 14 years to make an official visit to the islands. The Prime Minister also used his visit to announce £300-million of aid funding for infrastructure projects across the Caribbean, including roads, bridges and ports, and a new £25-million prison facility for Jamaica. The cash will help boost international trade links between the Caribbean and the UK and the British Caribbean Chamber is assisting British companies who may seek supply chain opportunities from the £300-million spend.

In his letter to Lord Howard, Mr Cameron said: “I appreciate you taking the time to share with me the warm and supportive words of the Prime Minister of Grenada and the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. I firmly believe that we must continue to strengthen our ties with the Caribbean and build on the commitments to a deeper partnership made during my visit to the region last year. I am very grateful for the ongoing work of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in support of this”.

During his first official visit as Patron of the British Caribbean Chamber, the former Home Secretary Lord Howard met business members of the Trinidad and St Lucia Chapters of the Chamber in his new role as well as a string of dignitaries including the Prime Ministers and Governor Generals of Grenada and St Lucia as well as the President of Trinidad.

Lord Howard was accompanied by Dr Ian Kelly, Group Chief Executive of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, and Deputy CEO, Pauline Wade. In Trinidad, the Chamber teamed up with British High Commissioner, Tim Stew MBE, James Telfer, Trinidad Chairman, and Tracey Hoford, Country Manager, to visit His Excellency President Anthony Carmona and the Hon Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry for Trinidad and Tobago. Together they discussed key issues including inward investment, crime, energy policy, tourism and food security.

Whilst the issue of the UK’s position in Europe and ‘Brexit’ was raised with Lord Howard he expressed the view that should this come to pass, there would be no significant impact on UK/Caribbean relations and trade.

Whilst in Trinidad Lord Howard was also the guest of honour at a special dinner hosted by the British High Commissioner Tim Stew where he met with key leaders of the legal sector in order to share some of his experiences during his time as the British Home Secretary.

Pictured are the British Caribbean Chamber delegation meeting the President of Trinidad and Tobago His Excellency Anthony Carmona.

October 2015

Prime Minister greets Chamber at Number 10

FOLLOWING David Cameron’s visit to Jamaica and Grenada earlier this month, the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce’s Deputy CEO Pauline Wade attended a reception at 10 Downing Street, where Caribbean trade and business opportunities were included.

Mr Cameron became the first serving British Prime Minister in 14 years to make an official visit to the Caribbean during which he announced the UK Government would invest £300-million in new infrastructure in the Caribbean such as roads, bridges and ports to help drive economic growth and development across the region.

The money from the UK’s existing aid budget will be used to provide grants over the next few years for a range of projects that will help boost growth and trade across the Caribbean region, creating jobs and opening up new market opportunities for British businesses.

The Chamber’s profile in the Caribbean market is well established with offices in Port of Spain Trinidad and Castries in St Lucia and plans are currently being developed to ensure that both in the run-up to and during Hull’s year as the UK’s City of Culture 2017, both business and cultural links between the UK via Hull and the Caribbean are further strengthened.

A similar high profile programme of activities took place in 2007 when Hull commemorated William Wilberforce’s 200th Anniversary of the abolition of the Slave Trade Act. In 2007 the then Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur, led a parade of visiting Commonwealth Prime Ministers and Presidents who visited Hull to celebrate William Wilberforce and current trade links to the Caribbean.

PICTURE CAPTION: The BCCC’s Deputy CEO Pauline Wade shakes hands with David Cameron in Number 10 Downing Street.

April 2015

British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce launches second Chapter in St Lucia with glittering reception

THE British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) recently opened its second Chapter in St Lucia.

The CEO of the BCCC, Dr Ian Kelly and Deputy CEO Pauline Wade were in St Lucia for the glittering launch.

Among the guests were Her Excellency the Governor General of St Lucia, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Prime Minister Dr The Honourable Kenny Anthony and other dignitaries and St Lucian business leaders.

The new Chapter of the BCCC will be run by Country Manager Randy Cato, who will work in a similar role to Tracey Hoford, the Country Manager for the Trinidad Chapter, which was established in 2001.

Pauline Wade said: “We started taking trade missions to the Caribbean in 1998. This second Chapter is in response to a request from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and because of interest among businesses in the Caribbean”.

The St Lucia Chamber will support bilateral trade between the UK and St Lucia with businesses at both ends of the trans-Atlantic chain expected to benefit from its expertise, building on the success and experience of the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter.

Pauline Wade added: “This is a very significant development for business in the Caribbean, but it is also important for British businesses, and we have success stories from our own part of the world to underline that”. GF Foods (York) Ltd is one such business, and director Sally Allister, says it was a trade mission to Trinidad with the BCCC in January 2014 which helped her business take its Feel Free brand of gluten-free products to the international market.

Sally said: “We went to Trinidad and Tobago and to Barbados and it was really good for our business. The Chamber set up meetings with the relevant businesses and we exported to Trinidad with a partner who also covers Barbados. Customers in the Caribbean are very loyal to British brands and there are a lot of good opportunities”.

Another company to visit Trinidad and Barbados on that same Trade Mission was Ramsden International, based in Grimsby, which won an international business award from the British Chambers of Commerce in 2014 in recognition of the company’s efforts in building an export network of more than 120 countries.

The two Chapters will serve to enhance bilateral trade between the Caribbean and the UK and the UK and the Caribbean.

Dr Ian Kelly is pictured left talking with the Prime Minister of St Lucia Dr Kenny Anthony.

January 2015

Howard’s Way – to the Caribbean

AT a recent House of Lords dinner, Lord Howard of Lympne and Patron of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Hull/Humber and linked to the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, played host to the Prime Minister of St Lucia, Kenny Anthony.

The Dinner, arranged by the British Caribbean Chamber, set the agenda for a trade and investment visit to the Eastern Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago in February aimed at exploring ‘exclusive investment opportunities’ in both Grenada and St Lucia, as well as more traditional ‘trade links’ into Trinidad and Tobago, where the two largest businesses on the island are British-based BP and BG, formerly British Gas.

Major UK investors in the Eastern Caribbean attended the Dinner, including Peter De Savary, famous for his role in the America’s Cup but also a formal Ambassador to the island of Grenada. John Kennedy Chairman of the Boka Group and Angus Thirlwell, founder of Hotel Chocolat, both with major investments in St Lucia, also attended to highlight the market opportunities in both these two British Commonwealth Caribbean islands which are currently expanding rapidly through tourism, especially from the UK.

Dr Ian Kelly, group Chief Executive of the British Caribbean Chamber, said: “At the top end of the market, these two exclusive Caribbean islands offer excellent opportunities for both trade and investment which Prime Minister Kenny Anthony was kind enough to review for us on this special visit to explore opportunities for investment in particular. A gentle rivalry developed over the evening as our Patron Lord Howard (an official ‘Friend of Grenada’) and Peter De Savary teased other guests about the benefits of Grenada, whilst John Kennedy and Angus Thirlwell championed the delights of St Lucia”.

Prime Minister Anthony highlighted his commitment to trade into the UK market by noting a Memorandum of Understanding between his St Lucia Trade and Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) and the British Caribbean Chamber, which included a Market Access Internship Programme where TEPA staff will be seconded into the BCCC office in Hull, UK from February 2016.

David Beasley, of Classlane Media, is one of a number of Yorkshire business leaders involved in the programme of activities involved in promoting trade. Other leading Yorkshire and Humber businesses who may be interested in the next trade visit to be lead by Lord Howard going to the Caribbean in February 2016, should contact Pauline Wade at the British Caribbean Chamber, on 01482 324976 or email in early January 2016.

Businesses should note this is an exclusive private sector market visit which on this occasion does not include grants for smaller exporters.

PICTURE CAPTION: Guest of the British Caribbean Chamber (BCCC) House of Lords Dinner (from left to right) John Kennedy, Chairman Boka Group; Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St Lucia; Lord Howard of Lympne, BCCC Patron; Dr Ian Kelly, BCCC Group Chief Executive; Angus Thirlwell, Group Chief Executive of Hotel Chocolat and David Beasley, CEO of Classlane Media.

April 2013

Angostura is latest BCCC patron

ANGOSTURA recently became the latest Patron of the British-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), marking the occasion with a luncheon ceremony at Angostura’s Offices, Eastern Main Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of both organisations, including Robert Wong, CEO of Angostura and other executives of the company as well as members of BCCC’s Trinidad Advisory Board—Honorary Chairman James Telfer, Geoff Patton and David Hodges, along with Tracey Hoford, executive administrator to the Chamber.

The relationship between Angostura and the BCCC has spanned several years and this latest development will pave the way for strengthening ties between the two organisations and enabling collaborative projects. Wong said he was “happy to see the two organisations come together once more and looked forward to a long, amiable relationship. “This partnership will allow for excellent networking opportunities for all members that can have a tremendous impact on future growth of the local brands,” he said.

BCCC, a subsidiary of the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce in the UK, was launched in T&T in 2001 to promote bilateral trade between the UK and the Caribbean. The Chamber, whose member companies represent a broad cross section of business and industry caters directly to the needs of its members to advance their interest by developing networks with British links, through trade, culture and education.

Some of the key aspects of Chamber membership include seminars and networking sessions aimed at facilitating dialogue and knowledge sharing on issues of relevance to its members. Mr Telfer said he welcomed the opportunity to work more closely with a company such as Angostura.

Pictured (from left) are Alana Beaubrun, executive Manager HR & Admin, Angostura, Vidia Persad-Doodnath, Executive Director Technical Services, James Telfer, BCCC, Robert Wong, Angostura CEO, Geoff Patton BCCC, Tracey Hoford BCCC and Giselle Laronde-West, Senior Manager PR & Communications.

March 2007

Barbados PM joins Chamber in celebrating Wilberforce Bicentenary

THE Rt Hon Owen Arthur MP, Prime Minister of Barbados, visited Hull in 2007 to join the city in celebrating the Bicentenary of its greatest son, William Wilberforce.

The British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, which is part of Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Wilberforce committee and Hull City Council paid tribute to Hull’s greatest son on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Slave Trade Act. A series of events were held in Hull across the Humber which were attended by numerous VIP guests.

The Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, the Secretary of State for Education, hosted the first of these events a a special lunch at Reeds Hotel near Barton-on-Humber where Prime Minister Owen Arthur was the guest of honour along with a number of other VIPs.

During his visit, Mr Arthur visited many of the region’s attractions including the Humber Bridge and The Deep.

The Wilberforce Lecture, which in recent years was given by the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and in 2006 by the President of Ghana, was delivered by Mr Arthur before several hundred attendees.

Pictured at the luncheon at Reeds Hotel are (from left) Owen Arthur MP, Alan Johnson MP, Austin Mitchell MP and Dr Ian Kelly, the Chief Executive of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce.

March 2005

BCCC’s first Patron ‘a distinguished lawyer and diplomat’

THE British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce’s first Patron, Sir Roy Marshall, with BCCC’s Deputy Chief Executive Pauline Wade in Bridgetown, in March 2005. Sir Roy was famous as both Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and later Hull University as well as being a distinguished lawyer and diplomat. He was intimately involved in writing the constitution of Barbados before independence in 1966 and also refused legendary poet Philip Larkin’s resignation as Vice Chancellor when the poet was Hull University’s librarian.

October 2004

Guyana MOU signed as part of European Commission investment programme

THE British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce’s Deputy Chief Executive, Pauline Wade, signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Edward Boyers, the President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, Guyana, as part of a European Commission-funded Pro Invest programme in October 2004.

February 2004

Duke of York meets Chamber members in Trinidad

HIS Royal Highness Prince Andrew joined members at a British Caribbean Chamber of commerce lunch in Port of Spain to share information on the business environment in Trinidad.

The lunch was hosted at the Hilton by Ali Khan, Chairman of the Trinidad Chapter of the Chamber who spoke of the pioneering effort of the British Caribbean Chamber in establishing stronger business links between Trinidad, the wider Caribbean and the UK.

Mr Khan highlighted the growing export trade between the United Kingdom and Trinidad and Tobago, increased air links and tourist arrivals, significant growth in foreign direct investment by British companies, and continued improvement in business performance in both markets.

The Prince who was attending in his role as special Representative for the British Government in Trade and Investment took considerable interest in the oil and gas activities of BP and BG before joining members for lunch at the Hilton.

Trainidad’s Minister of trade and the British High Commissioner supported an excellent lunch aimed at showcasing strengthening links between Trinidad, Tobago and the UK.

Pictured are Prince Andrew and Ali Khan deep in discussions during his visit.

November 2003

Special gift for British High Commissioner for Barbados

THE retiring British High Commissioner of Barbados visited East Yorkshire, in the UK after promoting trade links between the two regions.

Mr White was the UK’s top diplomat in the region and was based in Barbados but was also High Commissioner for six other eastern Caribbean countries including Antigua and St Lucia.

On his final trip to Yorkshire, Mr White said: “Over the years the Chamber has brought people in to the Caribbean market with a wide range of skills. The most recent trade has been with people in the food industry. Barbados is a good market for exporters from the UK in particular.

Other firms from Yorkshire trading in the Caribbean included Ideal Standard, Seven Seas and Carol Bird Interiors of Beverley, which had recently completed a large contract in Barbados.

During discussions about how the business could win more Caribbean orders, Mr White was presented with a vase by managing director David Bird.

February 2003

Blair and Bush don't disturb Cuban trade

ON the British Caribbean Chamber’s first trade mission to Havana, Cuba, in February 2003, neither the British Chamber, Cuban Chamber, or Cuban Foreign Ministry Officials were put off their trade visit by the British and American Governments’ decision to invade Iraq. BCCC CEO Dr Ian Kelly (left), with Cuba Chamber of Commerce colleagues and Cuba’s Foreign Ministry official for Europe.

November 2001

Tales of cricketing triumphs from West Indian star bowler

SIR Charles (Charlie) Griffiths, the great West Indian right-arm fast bowler discusses his triumphs at The Oval with Pauline Wade, the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce’s Deputy Chief Executive at “Ben Mar”, the residence of the British High Commissioner to Barbados, in November 2001.

October 2001

Inaugural trade mission to Port of Spain

A LIGHTER moment shared between the Hon Mervyn Assam, Trinidad and Tobago Minister for Trade and UK Industry Minister the Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP during the British Caribbean Chamber’s inaugural trade mission to Port of Spain in 2001.

“The British are back with a bang” was the headline in the local paper, the Express Business, in Trinidad, following the Chamber’s official launch. The formation of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce also received a thumbs-up from the Queen.

However, it was noted that trade would not be all one way, as Europe is the Caribbean’s second largest export market with 17% of goods, services and intellectual capital. Chief Executive Dr Kelly said: “It’s a two-way flow, this isn’t a British Chamber in Trinidad or Barbados, it is a British Caribbean Chamber, so we are looking to help Caribbean businesses who want to trade in the UK and Europe as well”.

British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Peter Harborne, explained: “What we aim for in the fullness of time is something that will add value to the work we do.

UK Industry Minister, Alan Johnson, joined the trade mission to the Caribbean following his visit to Cuba and the Havana trade fair. During a trip to Tobago, he saw first-hand the significance of the island’s growing tourism to the UK.

October 2001

Dignitaries attend BCCC’s official launch

BRITISH High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago, Peter Harborne (left) with Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP (centre), the UK Minister for Industry and Dr Ian Kelly, CEO of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, pictured during the official launch of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in October 2001.

March 2001

Orville London welcomed BCCC to Tobago

IN one of his first acts as Chairman of The British Caribbean Chamber as its first appointed official for the BCCC in Trinidad and Tobago, David Evans (centre), a Scarborough resident, is welcomed by Orville London (left) the newly-appointed Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly.

February 2001

Following Nelson’s footsteps in Jamaica

THE British Caribbean Chamber’s Chief Executive, Dr Ian Kelly (left), enjoying a visit in the footsteps of Horatio Nelson at Port Royal in Jamaica, hosted by the British Deputy High Commissioner for the island, Jim Malcolm. The plaque on the wall says: In this place dwelt Horatio Nelson – You who tread his footprints remember his glory.

February 2001

Historic day as Chamber office opens in Port of Spain

BRITISH Caribbean Chamber Chief Executive Dr Ian Kelly and Deputy Pauline Wade open their Port of Spain office in February 2001 thanks to the support of the Chief Executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber, Hubert Alleyne.

July 2000

UK’s BCC President gives blessing to founding of British Caribbean Chamber

THE President of British Chambers of Commerce Anthony Goldstone (left) endorsing the establishment of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in 2000 with Dr Ian Kelly, Chief Executive of Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce (right).