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By Aabigayle McIntosh
A private sector-led ferry service aiming to connect the entire Caribbean was inaugurated last week.
“Connect Caribe” can transport up to 8,000 passengers, cargo, and various goods and services.
The suggested routes encompass destinations such as Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Dominica, Suriname, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The operation is a collaboration between Upturn Funds Caribbean and Pleion Group Inc.
Ambassador Andre Thomas, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Holding Company, underscores the significance of the twin island states as premier destinations, noting substantial passenger travel and cargo entering the country.
Expressing confidence in the service’s impact, he states, “Studies have indicated that if you connect the Caribbean via a affordable maritime corridor, it will increase GDP by about 5 percent.”
Ambassador Thomas anticipates positive effects on tourism and emphasizes close collaboration with governments.
He notes, “We will be working very, very closely with the governments; we have approached all governments. We are not in touch with all governments as yet because it is a process.”
Upturn Funds Caribbean, a venture capital and advisory firm based in Barbados with headquarters in New York, collaborates with Pleion Group Inc, a Caribbean and US-based company with offices in the USA, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad, and Jamaica.