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ABMA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD LAST WEEK
Tuesday 29th May 2012

Photo by Alexis Andrews/www.alexisandrews.com.

Last week the ABMA convened its Annual General Meeting in its new place on the calendar.  Historically it has been held in January each year, but given the increasing workload for businesses in the key yachting season it was agreed that the meeting would be moved to just after the end of the season to allow more people to be able to attend the meeting.

It was therefore a more relaxed gathering of 22 business representatives and event organizers in the yachting and marine industry who gathered to hear the opening statement from current President Franklyn Braithwaite, financial statement from Vice President Tracy Guerrero, and marketing update from Alison Sly-Adams, the current ABMA representative on the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Board.  There was also an update given by the current President of the Caribbean Marine Association, John Duffy.

The debate was healthy and a number of issues in particular were raised and agreed as priorities, particularly the issues of revamping and including new yachting legislation which is relevant for yachting as an industry, as opposed to merchant shipping as the legislation now stands.  Over the past year there have been a number of positive meetings with Customs and Immigration to identify potential blockages and deal with them before the season started.  The members now feel that a drive to re-look at the legislation and simplify procedures is imperative if Antigua and Barbuda is to retain and grow its position in this vitally important market.  It has therefore elected a sub-committee to work on this as a major priority over the slower summer months.

President Franklyn Braithwaite says:  ‘If Antigua and Barbuda are going to grow this important sector, we must ensure that bureaucratic procedures are reduced to a minimum and that all of us involved in the sector understand its critical importance to the entire economy.  Even when a boat docks in Jolly Harbour, the crew still travels to town for goods and services and in addition, the money it spends on goods and services in English Harbour, Falmouth Harbour, Jolly Harbour and other ports of entry is then in circulation around the island thus boosting our overall economy.’

The new board consists of Franklyn Braithwaite. Tracy Guerrero, Alison Sly-Adams, Pete Anthony, Stephen Samuel, Arougoo Adams, Deon Hector, Festus Isaac, Bobby Reis, Bradley Esty, Ashley Rhodes, Canter de Jager, Gerry Daniel and Captain José Gillis.

The Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association is the body that represents the marine industry and businesses affected by it including hotels, restaurants and tourism-related businesses.  It seeks to deal with any issues affecting member businesses before they develop and works with agencies across Antigua and the Caribbean to ensure that its members’ needs are represented.  More information can be found at www.abma.ag.  Anyone interested in becoming a member can email info@abma.ag for more information.
 


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