LONDON, Sept. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CS Global Partners, one of the world’s leading government advisory agencies, is the official representative of the governments of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Saint Lucia and Saint Kitts and Nevis, all which took part in the first Afro-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022), which took place in Bridgetown, Barbados, from September 1 to 3, 2022. The forum opened a new chapter for relations between the Caribbean and Africa. Held under the theme ‘One people, one destiny, coming together and reinventing our future’, the forum launched several initiatives to deepen and build new trade and investment relations between Africa and the Caribbean.
The three-day forum was convened by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the Government of Barbados in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Business Council of Africa, the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community and the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, expressed her satisfaction at being selected as the host country for ACTIF 2022. She stated that Africa and the Caribbean share common roots and need to work and act together in various sectors. The participants pledged to build a commercial bridge between the two regions for their prosperous future.
ACTIF 2022 was the first forum of its kind between the two regions and aimed to provide an opportunity for Caribbean and African business communities, as well as governments, to establish new commercial and strategic relationships with the aim of expanding trade and investment between the two regions. regions. The high-level support between the two regions is aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation and engagement in trade, investment, technology transfer, innovation, tourism, culture and other sectors. The forum also opened the door to effective business matchmaking between the two regions.
The three-day conference featured several panel discussions on various topics, which were based on business-to-business engagements. Delegates discussed topics such as: development of special economic zones (SEZ) and industrial parks; promote industrialization and manufacturing; improve infrastructure, financing and trade logistics, including regional integration, promote trade and tourism, create the environment to accelerate private sector investment, improve agricultural productivity and increase agribusiness opportunities and food security.
Along with this, the forum also witnessed the signing ceremony of two association agreements, 10 MoUs and three financial facilities. The star document of the forum, which meant the success of the summit, was the association agreement between seven members of the Caribbean Community and Afreximbank to promote and finance South-South trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean. Its ultimate goal is to promote and provide insurance and guarantee services that cover the commercial and non-commercial risks associated with African and Caribbean exports.
Caribbean countries such as Barbados, the Republic of Suriname, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines signed the agreement with the African Export-Import Bank.
The agreement will help boost knowledge sharing between Africa and the Caribbean region with technical cooperation, research and various joint events. It also has the potential to accelerate the membership of CARICOM nations in Afreximbank, as it will allow the bank to operate in the region and deliver on the new vision.
Beyond this, in order to mobilize trade and investment between the two regions, Afreximbank also signed a US$250 million Trade and Investment Agreement with the Central Bank of Barbados.
In addition, Afreximbank described its goal of establishing export-import by signing a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Caribbean Banks. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of hundreds of delegates including business leaders and government officials from Africa and the Caribbean who discussed how to improve trade and investment between the two regions. It was signed by CAB CEO Wendy Delmar and Afreximbank Executive Vice President Denys Denya.
To support these efforts, the Africa-Caribbean Business Council, the CARICOM Private Sector Organization and Afreximbank also signed another memorandum of understanding. The rest of the memoranda included the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation signed by Hill of BIDC and Dr Afua Asare of GEPA, and BIDC, Dr Joseph Obeng of GUTA and Anthony Branker of BCCI, the Ghana Trade Association and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. signed Hill.
Several high-ranking government representatives, business leaders, business association representatives, potential investors and buyers, project developers, development agencies, multilateral financial institutions, think tanks and research institutions from Africa and the Caribbean attended ACTIF 2022 with more than 1,500 delegates representing 93 countries (comprising 48 African countries, 12 Caribbean countries and 33 other countries).
The specific objectives of ACTIF2022 were:
- Promotion of interbank relations, which includes the financial flow and the promotion of payment.
- Development of cultural and creative engagements between two regions that may be commercially viable.
- Building a business case for a potential AfriCaribbean Free Trade Area.
- Create a suitable platform to help disseminate information on trade and investment and other products and initiatives of the bank, which will support trade between Africa and Africans in the diaspora.
- Help reduce the perception of counterparty risk between African and Caribbean companies in their dealings with each other.
- The promotion of trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean as a forum served as a platform for market identification, the creation of trade associations, the exchange of trade and market information and joint investments.
- The forum also facilitates Afro-Caribbean investments by fostering and strengthening inter-regional business and investment links.
Nandi Canning [email protected] +27828215664