How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! – Psalm 133:1

What is the Caribbean? In the context of the Caribbean Development Bank, there are seventeen borrowing member countries. In the context of The Caribbean Community there are 14 members. If we include all the English, Spanish, French and Dutch countries there are 29 administrations. In this largest perspective there is a total population of over 46 million. Then there is the Diaspora in North America and Europe, in particular. Not an insignificant ‘block’, if we could get our act together. I say “in particular”, because on my recent visit to Japan, I casually met a Trinidadian and a Dominican who had comfortably been integrated in the Far Eastern landscape. By the way, even though I was not on a trade mission, since my return I have been able to forge two potential Japan/Caribbean business ventures and others are in the making.

One entity which empathises with the theme “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” is the Caribbean Business Community (North America) Inc. (CBCNAâ„¢). Its Mission is to encourage all Caribbean people to seek out our qualified Professionals, Businesses, and Service people, trade with one another, and influence all other people worldwide to do more business with us. We shall endeavor to be partners with Community Institutions and Groups, with a common goal to create a competitive community and an improved quality of life for all.

This organization was founded in 2001 by Alan St.C Byles, retired entrepreneur of Jamaica, known for his business success in diversified sectors in the 1970’s. It is a Florida Corporation based in Miami, Florida, USA. and is operated by a team of reputable, experienced management and dedicated staff taking pride in promoting and practising Caribbean unity, encouraging trade with one another, and seeking more non-Caribbean people to do business with the worldwide Caribbean Community. The millions of Caribbean people living in North America now have a new, bold communicative forum via the information super highway.

CBCNA has produced a detailed, interactive web site to unify the diverse settlements of Caribbean people dispersed throughout North America, to encourage them to do more business with one another and encourage other people in North America to do more business with Caribbean People and the Caribbean Countries. The CBCNAtheme is “Let’s do business with one another”. It is intended to be the home site for Caribbean Nationals living abroad, and stresses the need for them to integrate into the community while preserving their many cultures, and promoting each other.

This organisation is indeed of importance to businesses operating under the CBET Shepherding model, since all of these businesses are programmed for accelerated growth which implies structured access into the global market. This can be facilitated by access to the resources of the Diaspora which include expertise, experience and investment finance.

One of CBET’s businesses Blue Waters Productions Inc. (BWP) owned by Alison Saunders-Frankyln, is producing a full length feature film “Hit for Six” in the Caribbean. This drama film will be shot later this year, and its world premiere is scheduled for the Bridgetown film festival during the week of the ICC CWC 2007 final in Barbados in April 2007.

This will only be the third cricket feature film ever produced. BWP last year produced a short 13 min. related cricket film, “Second Innings”, which was shown and well received at the Bridgetown film festival 2005.

BWP is seeking investment for the production of “Hit for Six” and to this end will be mounting presentations in New York and Washington, D.C. in mid June 2006.

The story is built around Alex Simmons, a handsome, talented yet controversial 32 year-old cricketer. He has been out of the West Indies team for the last three years, following an initial ban for scuffling with his coach over sexy singer, Astrid Jones. While out of the WI team he has remained in the headlines, mainly through his high-profile, intermittent relationship with Astrid and is now pursuing his last chance to play in a Cricket World Cup.

During an interview with Janice, sports journalist, Alex reveals the cricketer he always dreamt of becoming, unconsciously mirroring his father’s past achievements and the chance to seize the CWC opportunity which Thompson was hitherto unfairly denied in a racist incident. The relationship between Alex and Janice grows, even though she feels conflicted by her profession and her attraction to this cricketer. This connection upsets his famous girlfriend, Astrid.

After much drama leading to attempted suicide, spiritual reckoning and reconciliation Alex is picked for CWC 2007 squad and then he is chosen to play in the Opening match of the World Cup. Before going out to play he says a prayer and chooses his own new bat over an old autographed bat that his father had given him. Confidently, he hits a massive six to open the innings of his dreams.

I am sure that CBCNA can play a major role in mobilising the Diaspora to invest in “Hit for Six” and provide a much needed stimulus to stamp the image of the Caribbean on the map of the world.