BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, July 23, 2022 - Over Seven hundred African businessmen, investors and representatives of financial institutions will gather in Barbados for the first ever "AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum," which will be held in that country from the 1st to the 3rd of September 2022.
The "AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2022” is one of the first fruits of last year's First Africa / CARICOM Summit and will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Bridgetown, Barbados, under the theme: ‘One People. One Destiny. Uniting and Reimagining Our Future.’
The event is a collective initiative of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and two Barbados Government agencies -- Invest Barbados and Export Barbados, but it embraces the entirety of the Caribbean and the African continent.
It is intended to help strengthen relations between the private sectors of the two regions to advance trade and investment; promote inter-bank relationships including fostering payment and financial flow; develop creative and cultural engagements that can be commercially viable and create a business case for a potential AfriCaribbean Free Trade Area.
The forum is also expected to promote trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean by serving as a platform for market identification; building business partnerships and the exchange of trade and market information and co-investments.
It will also facilitate AfriCaribbean investments by fostering cross-regional business and investment linkagesand also serve as a platform for disseminating trade and investment information and other products and initiatives of the Bank that support trade between Africa and Africans in the diaspora.
The forum is also aimed at reducing counterpart risk perception among African and Caribbean businesses in dealing with themselves.
The Forum will focus on business-to-business engagements and panel discussions on several topics, including:
- accelerating industrialization and manufacturing;
- developing special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial parks;
- improving infrastructure, financing and trade logistics, including regional integration;
- creating the conditions to accelerate private sector investment;
- promoting trade and tourism; and
- improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities and food security.
The Forum is expected to welcome 750 delegates from Africa and the Caribbean, including government and private sector officials from both regions, as well as investors, development partners, and trade support institutions.
The Afrieximbank is a multi-billion dollar institution that is headquartered in Egypt, and that has branches across the various regions of the continent.
In commenting on the forum, Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong, said the forum, which is a collaborative effort, is vitally important since it sends a positive message of our meetings and conferences indicating that they actually producing concrete results.”
Ambassador Comissiong noted that “It is critical that we in CARICOM make this engagement a resounding success, and use the momentum that it generates to deliver substantial investment and trade ventures in both Africa and our Caribbean Community.”