This week, the Caribbean-Central American Action (CCAA) held their 38th Annual Conference on the Caribbean and Central America in Miami. CCAA has been promoting private sector-led economic development in the Caribbean Basin since 1980. The conference is really the only annual venue that focuses on this important region and it has helped to shape thought and policy towards the region. This year’s event focused on transportation and logistics, energy, financial services, and trade and it provided the perfect opportunity for me to highlight our community’s long history with the Caribbean going back to early settlements of Coconut Grove by Bahamians that actually predate the incorporation of the City of Miami. Today, Miami-County enjoys Sister Cities agreements with various governments in the Caribbean and Central America including the Cayman Islands, Kingston, Lamentin, St. Kitts & Nevis and Turks & Caicos. Our community is infused with cultural influences from these lands and others and these ties have translated into economic benefits for all. Just last year alone, we exceeded $93 billion in total trade and we’re on pace for another record-breaking year. Our top two economic engines – Miami International Airport (MIA) and PortMiami – provide unparalleled connectivity to anywhere in the world. MIA has added 20 new airlines and now connects our community to over 150 destinations. PortMiami has a brand new billion dollar port tunnel, and we’ll soon complete the Deep Dredge, making it one of the few ports on the eastern seaboard capable of servicing the larger post Panamax-era ships.