The VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum 2014 (ACF) was recently launched by Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development and Chair Pro Tempore of the VIII ACF. Over 1,000 local, regional and international representatives from business, government, civil society and academia will converge at the HYATT Regency Hotel, in Port-of-Spain to participate in the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), from October 8-10 this year.
The ACF is the preeminent economic and commercial event in the Americas focused on competitiveness and innovation. Trinidad and Tobago is the first English speaking Caribbean country to host the ACF.
Minister Tewarie noted that “the theme for the VIII ACF is The Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation.” He said: “It recognises that the genesis of competitiveness lies with fostering and exploiting the human imagination to drive our competitive advantage.” He told media representatives that “the human imagination needs to be stimulated and nurtured in order to build competitive capacity.”
In stressing TT’s suitability as host of the VIII ACF, Tewarie told media representatives that “Trinidad and Tobago is the place for forging strategic business partnerships, generating trade and investment opportunities across targeted growth sectors as well as creating unique tourist experiences.”
He intimated that our economic transformationdemands a new approach to enhancing our competitiveness. Minister Tewarie added: “Brain power and the creative power of the human imagination are now the drivers of competitive advantage as innovation and talent have become local as well as global assets. It is in this regard, ensuring our sustainability rests largely on our ability to imagine greater economic possibilities”.
In pledging private sector support for the Forum, Richard Lewis, Chairman of Council for Competitiveness and Innovation, underscored that apart from the invaluable networking that the event will afford, “attendees will get exposure to highly relevant, inter-related topics which will enable them to re-imagine the boundaries of their businesses.”
He said he expects at least three private sector initiatives to come directly out of the Forum to propel the development of the regional private sector and which will afford opportunities for people across a range of skills. Mr Lewis disclosed that an entire day “The Forum for Partnership of the Americas”, at the start of the conference on October 8, was planned specifically for the private sector. This Forum, he said will be targeting only 300 persons and will feature three international speakers, Gabor George Burt, Daniel Levine and Peter Sage. He encouraged the local private sector to register early for this session since once the target has been reached the session will be closed.
Also addressing the launch, Beverly Khan, VIII ACF Coordinator provided an overview of the Conference and the logistics involved in hosting a Conference of this calibre.
She indicated that over 40 international and regional speakers including high powered executives, entrepreneurs and academics have already been engaged as key speakers and panellists. She also shared some of the activities which were being planned for the engagement of the national community such as the Innovation Village, at Jean Pierre Complex as well as the Street Fair at Woodford Square in Port-of-Spain.
Brigadier General Phillips-Spencer, gave details of the ‘Innovation Village’, an associated event of VIII ACF, geared towards sparking a conversation on innovation with the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
He said that over 80 local and international innovators are expected to be on show at the Jean Pierre Complex from October 9 to 11.
Persons wishing to register for the VIII ACF Forum should go to the ACF website at www.competitivenessforum.org or contact the ACF Secretariat at (868) 350-4917.