Top Caribbean entertainers, Shaggy of Jamaica and Alison Hinds of Barbados collaborated to thrill their Spanish Caribbean audience during the official launch of Design Caribbean in the Dominican Republic. The two singers flew into Santo Domingo for the special event two Thursdays ago and got a rousing response during their first appearance in the country. “The vibe was good. I was a bit surprised that they knew the lyrics in English but music is universal and at the end of the day, we are one Caribbean people,” said Shaggy. New York-based Shaggy and Hinds were headliners at the kick-off event for Design Caribbean 2011, the region’s foremost trade show showcasing the creativity and craft products of the Caribbean mainly for the benefit of international buyers. The trade fair will be staged in Santo Domingo, September 1-4. Following remarks from executives of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the organisers and managers of Design Caribbean, Hinds warmed the audience with a number of her soca hits, including the international mega-hit Roll. Grammy Award winner Shaggy then closed the show, interacting with the audience on every number as they sang along to such major hits as Mr Boombastic and It Wasn’t Me. Executive director of Caribbean Export, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, said the musicians were among the best-known products of the Caribbean and their presence at the event was part of efforts to help focus attention on the skills and creativity of the people of the CARIFORUM region. Coke-Hamilton further said that Design Caribbean was conceptualised to help artisans, designers and other talented people of the region to access the international marketplace. Designers, artisans and others involved in the creative industries are eligible to participate in Design Caribbean, showcasing products such as ceramics, jewellery, fashion accessories, home furnishings, specialty foods and leather goods.