GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The proverbial curtains closed on the 2023 AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2023) on Tuesday evening at the Marriott Hotel, an event which has been dubbed a ‘resounding’ success.
The forum saw the participation of close to 1,500 attendees from 33 countries and the participation of some 30 businesses.
During a closing press conference following a jam-packed day of riveting panel discussions, senior minister within the office of the president with responsibility for finance, Dr Ashni Singh, said that the past two days have laid out a unique platform that supports the establishment of commercial ties to foster collective development.
“We saw, over the course of the last two days, a number of concrete avenues and opportunities through which closer economic ties can be explored, will be explored, and have already been initiated, and this has happened at a number of levels. Beyond the governmental engagements, there were business-to-business engagements, and a number of the businesses that are visiting from Africa and elsewhere in the world had an opportunity to discover economic opportunities in the Caribbean and Guyana, and engage with their counterparts, and to initiate potential transactions,” the senior minister asserted.
According to the minister, a multitude of sectors in the two regions are teeming with partnership potential, ranging from sustainable tourism to manufacturing and food security.
President and chairman of the board of directors at the African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank), Benedict Oramah, ACTIF2023 has served to solidify the work that the bank is doing to strengthen the AfriCaribbean relationship.
Given the monumental successes that have stemmed from this and last year’s forum, he said the two regions are set on a clear path to integration and establishing a consolidated payment system.
“It will not be long before we have a single payment rail connecting Africa and the Caribbean,” he said.
The forum began with a rousing call from president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali for the members of the regional private sector to form a consortium to resolve the regional maritime transport challenges. It also featured powerful messages from prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, and the AfreximBank president, Benedict Oramah, and a dynamic array of panel discussions centred around topics such as oil and gas, regional food security, and overcoming financing constraints to AfriCaribbean trade and investment cooperation.
This year’s conference was held under the theme “Creating a Shared Prosperous Future”, and was convened by the government of Guyana and the AfreximBank.