Keeping an Eye on Investments
By Edward Harris


In my last article, I pointed to developments in the US elections. There were a lot of disappointed people around the world as the results became known. The pollsters were dead wrong. However, the elections are behind us, the people have spoken and President George W. Bush now has 4 more years.

   The people of the US are challenged to make the very best of the next 4 years. Sen. Kerry’s call for unity will have to be matched by an outstretched hand of welcome from the President. The next few weeks will give a true indication of how well this call for Unity will work.  Transparency and accountability will have to characterize the actions of President Bush. Enough said on this matter, I wish my readers well as they grapple with the reality of 4 more years with President George W. Bush at the helm.


Many think that the Caribbean is slow paced and it is a perpetual holiday. Given the new world order, we in the Caribbean are catching up with the reality that we are operating in a Global Village. I had a personal glimpse of living in the fast lane over the past three weeks. My trips took me to Martinique, a French Territory in the West Indies where I spent 2 hectic days with appointments running into the evening. Four days later I was in Trinidad discussing for four days the prospects of the Organic Farming Business in the Region. At this meeting it was noted that Guyanese Entrepreneurs are already beginning to get on board with the new trend to provide organic foods to the world. One gentleman from Guyana has 10,000 acres under cultivation. There is an old statement “ Guyana has the potential to be the food basket of the region” this statement is beginning to take form in becoming reality. Returning to my base in St. Lucia on Saturday night, I was on my way to Toronto early Sunday where I spent 7 days working 12-hour days. I returned to my home in beautiful St. Lucia on 14/11/04 all pumped up with the challenges that will take me around the Caribbean promoting health care products. Sharing a real business opportunity with the people of the region. 


My trip to Toronto exposed me to business opportunities in the Financial World. I stumbled on some very important ways to benefit from the government’s programmes that allows significant tax breaks by individuals and companies giving donations to Foundations and Charitable Institutions in Canada. In the next few months I will be looking at how Canada’s various financial/tax plans work. I see it as a great opportunity to get assistance for projects in the Caribbean. I am already beginning to get the feeling that our Caribbean people based in North America can do a lot to help in the development of our region. Think about how you can help to make the Caribbean a better place for those who are left at home and because of them those of us who are privileged to be in the developed countries can go back to our various countries of birth and be proud to call them HOME!

   There are many creative things happening in our world today. We must share the ideas as they surface. It is amazing how deeply many of the projects/businesses can impact on the communities of the region. There must be a clearinghouse for these ideas to be passed on. This medium can help to put ideas in the hands of its subscribers. We need to get excited about business. Wealth is important to our people of the Caribbean Diaspora. Yes, we have many successful sons and daughters, who have made it BIG TIME in North America and other parts of the world but I am convinced that not enough of us are reaching out to those left behind. They need us and we need them even if it is just to say we are proud of being who we are, a son or daughter of country x or y.


   Barbadians have done themselves well at home. It is the most progressive country in the Caricom region. Today, Barbados is stepping out and lending a hand to the smaller States of the OECS. The Barbados Small Business Association is spearheading a Caribbean umbrella Association of Small Businesses. They are sharing ideas in other areas of endeavour such as Productivity. Barbados is enjoying high visibility. Recently there is talk about renovating houses in the downtown area. Long overdue but is about to happen.

   Trinidad is currently launching a 100 million TT$ Fund to help other Caricom States businesses to be competitive and reduce their balance of trade position with Trinidad by increasing exports to Trinidad. This is a very timely initiative and it makes a statement to the world that we in the region are prepared to help each other. Prime Minister Patrick Manning is right on target. He is sharing his oil wealth with his neighbours. Caribbean Single Market and Economy is very much on the front burner. Grenada is, because of circumstances, well positioned to implement some aspects of the CSME. At least there is need for tradesmen to cope with the demand for repairs and construction of new properties. Meanwhile, many Grenadians are leaving to seek employment in other areas in the other islands. Why do we have to have disasters to bring us together? The year 2005 will see heightened activities to ensure the implementation of the CSME on time.

   These are exciting times to be alive. We are in many instances lacking new, cutting edge ideas, we need the support of our brothers and sisters in the developed world to help us identify opportunities. Millions of dollars are being pumped into the economies and lots more to come in the next 3 to 5 years. Help us to be the best we can.

   Keep the Faith, God is in Charge!!!

Edward A. Harris
Freelance Journalist: Business & P. R. Consultant: Realtor
President of the Guyana – St. Lucia Association