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A call to action – ending the pandemic in the Caribbean – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Wilfred Haper has a small bandage on his arm on the spot where he received a covis19 vaccine at the La Romaine Health Centre on April 10. - PHOTO BY CHEQUANA WHEELER
Wilfred Haper has a small bandage on his arm on the spot where he received a covis19 vaccine at the La Romaine Health Centre on April 10. – PHOTO BY CHEQUANA WHEELER

On April 28, the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce, along with the Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (Caricham) and the Caricom Private Sector Organisation (Cpso) will partner with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for a virtual webinar – Call to Action: the ICC Campaign to end the pandemic in the Caribbean.

The ICC campaign is a global initiative executed through its national committees which seeks to advance measures to accelerate the end of the crisis. The TT Chamber has been a member of the ICC for over two decades.

In its February 2021 ICC Global Vaccines Campaign – Ending the Global Pandemic document, the ICC notes that “…studies have shown that effective testing and verification systems have significant untapped potential to restore economic activity and global mobility.

It goes on to state that demand for vaccines is likely to outstrip supplies for months to come, “and with the virus spreading faster than ever – it will be vital for governments to use every tool available to reduce transmission of the virus.”

Covid19 has had the effect of compounding an already challenging economic climate in TT and other countries of the region, many of which are dependent on tourism and related products. The declaration of a pandemic has almost paralysed some sectors, and even driven a number of businesses to fold. The region’s private sector therefore has a vested interest in any and all measures to lift our country out of pandemic conditions and align with global efforts. According to the ICC, “…a growing body of evidence points to the critical role that business will need to play in addressing public anxiety about new vaccines – in particular, as a trusted provider of information, guidance and practical solutions.”

The campaign is underpinned by the ICC’s access to covid19 tools (or ACT accelerator) which was launched on April 24, 2020. This is meant to accelerate the development of tests, treatments and vaccines, and to ensure equitable access to covid19 tools globally. It has been made possible through the support of a worldwide coalition of public, private and multilateral donors.

The April 28 session is intended to start the conversation on the role of the private sector in the vaccination rollout. ICC secretary general John W H Denton, AO, will deliver opening remarks, while the meeting will be moderated by the current chair of Caricham.

Due to the importance of this discussion to the region, we are inviting businesses across the Caribbean to join the 90-minute Zoom webinar as we begin to chart the way forward out of covid19. The discussion will examine and advocate for the adoption of the ICC’s roadmap for action. The roadmap is contextual in terms of five major downside risks. These include: banking on vaccines as a silver bullet; vaccine nationalism; production disruptions; trade logistics frictions; and vaccine hesitancy.

As a responsible national business organisation and a member of the ICC, the Chamber believes that there is a critical role to be played by the private sector in ensuring there is an effective rollout of vaccinations to the population. This can be considered a key part of the global cooperation that is needed to contain the pandemic and return the region to economic stability.

The webinar is accessible free of charge to members of the Chamber and corporate representatives across the Caribbean. Join us on April 28 from 10 am-11.30 am via Zoom to be a part of this critical discussion.

For more information on this session, email [email protected]

Content submitted by the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

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