TAMPA, Florida, June 25 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Leaders from the Hispanic business community held a press conference this morning to announce Tampa Bay as the first city in the United States chosen to host the 18th Annual Retailers of the Americas Conference. Present at the press conference to discuss highlights of the event were the following members of the Tampa Bay’s Host Committee:
— Derek Lloyd, President of Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay (CACCTB),
— Augustine Martinez, USHCC President & CEO,
— Julio Fuentes, President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“The CACCTB is committed to the growth and development of the Tampa Bay region and Florida.” stated Mr. Lloyd. “We are pleased to welcome our Caribbean, South and Central America neighbors to Tampa Bay and provide a favorable setting which encourages numerous opportunities to promote and expand their business successfully.”
Tampa was selected due to leading attributes such as its diverse Hispanic heritage and the opportunities that Tampa Bay region provides globally and locally for its cultural ties, airport facilities, port, industrial centers and distribution of goods. From a business perspective the Tampa Bay region provides more than just theme parks, it provides an industry that parallels the growth in global commerce and communication.
“Tampa holds such a talented cross-section of people, all looking to promote the city and what it has to offer,” said Augustine Martinez. “In our preliminary search for the perfect city to name as host for this one of a kind event, we were blown away by the Tampa community. We highlighted Tampa for the simple fact that, when thinking of how to bring commerce to the U.S., Tampa has it covered. Geographically and culturally, it is the perfect gateway to the Americas.”
“On behalf of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we show full support of this great conference,” said Julio Fuentes, FSHCC President. “We are excited that the city of Tampa was chosen and extend the invitation to Hispanic businesses in the rest of Florida to participate.”
“Small businesses play a significant and important role in our economy. We need to continue opening markets at home and abroad to raise living standards and consolidate democratic gains in the hemisphere,” said Senator Mel Martinez on the benefit the conference will have on Tampa and the state of Florida.
The 18th Annual Retailers of the Americas Conference, also known as XVIII Congreso del Comercio Detallista de las Americas, will host hundreds of business executives and dignitaries from across Latin America and the United States. The conference, expected to see an attendance of 3,000, will convene in Tampa between November 20 -22, 2008.
The press conference took place at the Embassy Suites (Downtown) at 10:30AM. Speakers also included the Honorable Faye Culp, Florida House of Representatives and Neighborhood Services Administrator Santiago Corrada.
The mission of the 18th Annual Retailers of the Americas Conference is to integrate the commercial sectors in the western hemisphere in a collaboration effort to develop strategies and initiatives directed at fortifying technological know-how, economic development and the creation of jobs. Previous host countries include, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico and Argentina.
About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of more than 2.5 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate more than $388 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Bolivia and Uruguay.