Ambassador's Reception 2023 - President's Speech



 Her Excellency Candace A. Solomon (r) (US Ambassador to T&T) looks on as Toni Sirju-Ramnarine (AMCHAM T&T President) delivers Welcome Remarks at the AMCHAM T&T's Ambassador's Reception 2023

Good evening, everyone.

On behalf of the Board of AMCHAM T&T, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our annual Ambassador’s reception.

We typically host this event at the end of the year to express our gratitude and appreciation to our loyal members for your continued support and commitment to AMCHAM T&T. Now I know due to Covid, we have not been able to have this event for a couple of years and you are all anxious to catch up with each other and do what AMCHAM T&T’s events are known for – networking! So I promise my speech will be brief.

But I could not let the opportunity pass to celebrate the arrival of our new U.S. Ambassador, Her Excellency Ms Candace A. Bond and her family to our beautiful country and of course to welcome her to the AMCHAM T&T family.

Madam Ambassador, we welcome you to our shores and we anxiously look forward to the many productive engagements our respective organizations will have over the coming years. Also, let me sincerely thank you for your hospitality and graciousness in upholding this tradition that we have had over the many years with the Embassy, in hosting the AMCHAM T&T Ambassador’s reception at your residence, which we appreciate you are only just getting settled into. I must also acknowledge the commitment of DCM, Shante Moore, who in anticipation of your arrival, worked closely with us to ensure this event could take place. Thank you, Shante, for your consistent support of all things AMCHAM T&T.

As everyone knows, AMCHAM T&T has a longstanding and meaningful relationship with the U.S. Embassy. As many of you know, the birthplace of AMCHAM T&T was right here in the kitchen of this residence by former U.S. Ambassador Mrs. Sally Cowal just over thirty years ago.

What started then as a simple breakfast meeting among colleagues has blossomed today into an organization with a membership of approximately 300 companies that continues to lead through the generation of opportunities geared toward sustainable development and economic growth.

As AMCHAM T&T has progressed over the past three decades, the immense value we place on our relationship with the U.S. Embassy has not changed. The U.S. remains our country’s major trading partner and we commit to continue working collaboratively to enhance the ease of doing business here in Trinidad and Tobago so that trade continues to thrive between our two countries.

Just this past year, we strengthened our organization's ties through our partnerships

- By hosting impactful trade missions,

- in the construction and outfitting of the E-Bike Recharging Station at the Shirvan Road Police Station in Tobago,

- by promoting digital transformation

- and most recently, Ambassador Bond and I were happy to have visited the communities in Laventille at Christmas where AMCHAM T&T provided 10,000 seedlings to support the Embassy’s Christmas on the Hill event.

We are very happy to have a U.S. Ambassador here with us in Trinidad & Tobago and we pledge to continue to work with the Embassy and build on our important relationship.

I would be remiss if I allowed this opportunity to go by without recognizing and acknowledging the hard work of our loyal members. So many of you were with us during those early days when we were trying to find our voice and stand on our own. Throughout the many challenges we have faced over the past three decades, your commitment, support, and loyalty to us as a business chamber have never wavered.

I can't tell you how much this means to us to know that you continue to carry our message of building on collaboration, progress, and excellence to achieve desired results. We hold these values close to our hearts as we continue to find ways to work together to bring success to our businesses and ensure that we are building a nation where no one is left behind.

Looking ahead, I see no reason why 2023 cannot be a year of increased progress and success for each of us. We may have some hurdles to climb but by staying focused and building on the collaboration we have championed for so many years, we can build a bigger, better, and brighter future for our companies, communities, and citizens.

Finally, to my colleagues on the Board, the CEO, and the Secretariat, so much of AMCHAM T&T’s success is owed to you and all of the hard work you do behind the scenes and the hopeful vision you continue to craft for the organization and for our country. Thank you once more for your relentless efforts and dedication.

Although the holiday season is just behind us, as I conclude, I am asking that we still carry with us into 2023 its messages - let us be more charitable in our acts, welcoming in our hearts, and thoughtful towards each other all year long as true success is shared success.

Happy New Year, everyone and I hope you have a wonderful evening! Thank you very much.


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