OBC was established in 2016 and is currently undergoing revitalization to strengthen the sub-regional private sector's voice and effectively address the developmental issues specific to the OECS business environment.
CPSO is an associate institution of the Caribbean Community. It is mandated to support the full integration of the CARICOM single market and economy and to be a representative organization of large and small corporations throughout CARICOM.
OBC Chairman, Mr. Gordon Charles, commended the CPSO for its very strong balance at ensuring that the concerns of all of its members are taken into consideration and stated that the OECS Business Council is intended to be a mirror organization of the CPSO.
“It is supposed to champion the voice of the private sector for the OECS region and one of our goals, like the CPSO, is to become an associate institution of the OECS at some governance level so that we have a voice at the decision-making level.”
In his introductory remarks, Dr. Patrick Antoine, Head of the CPSO Secretariat, stressed that the MOU was not merely a symbolic instrument, but a catalyst for private sector growth and market expansion in that it now provided a formal framework for cooperation with Guadeloupe, Martinique, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands through the OECS’ agreements with these states, and
“essentially forms a platform for cooperation which is above and beyond the formal platform that we have within the CARICOM framework, so that really, what we do have today, is what we've always wanted in CARICOM and is, in fact, a manifestation of our search for scale”.
The OBC benefits from the OECS Commission's ongoing support under the European Union funded 11th EDF Regional Integration Through Growth Harmonisation and Technology (RIGHT) Project, which includes the provision of technical support to the Council to represent the collective interest of the Member States by continuously advocating, negotiating, and where possible, strengthening the private sector in the region.
The OBC and the CPSO have a shared objective of serving the public interest. This MOU provides for the continued strengthening of future cooperation between the OBC and the CPSO in achieving common goals that will increase collaboration and growth in the Caribbean Community as a whole.