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Guyana to host 2nd AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum

BUSINESS REPORTER

Guyana will host the second AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF23) in October, organisers have said, as moves to deepen commercial relations between Africa and the Caribbean intensify.

The October 30 to 31 meeting will be held in Guyanese capital, Georgetown under the theme, Creating a Shared Prosperous Future and is convened by Afreximbank and the Government of Guyana.

ACTIF23 will focus on consolidating commercial collaboration between the Caribbean region and Africa, for increased inter-regional trade and investment; building on the successes of the inaugural edition that was held in Barbados, in September 2022, organisers say.

Hugh Hilton Todd, Guyana Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister, said his country was looking forward to hosting the second AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum.

“We are keen to actively harness the potential of our economic relations as we build on the historic ties between Africa and the Caribbean,” Todd said.

Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank’s president and chairman of the board, said the bank was “exceedingly grateful” to the Government of Guyana for agreeing to host “this important bridge-building Forum”.

“Going by the impressive gains we have recorded in less than one year since ACTIF2022, we have every reason to look forward to a further deepening of commercial relationships between Africa and the Caribbean when we meet in Georgetown, Guyana,” Oramah said.

The AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum was introduced in 2022 to enhance the growth of trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean, including promoting airlinks, tourism, technology transfer, financial stability, food security, industrialisation and cultural ties.

The inaugural event drew over 1,200 delegates from 108 countries, including participants from 50 African countries, 13 Caribbean countries, and regions as far away as Oceania.

ACTIF23 comes at a time when there has been growing commercial cooperation between Africa and CARICOM supported by Afreximbank.

Eleven CARICOM member countries are now participating States in the pan-African bank. The bank board recently approved a limit of US$3bn for Caribbean economies to enhance trade and investment opportunities between the two regions.

Afreximbank is launching its representative office in Bridgetown, Barbados; and providing technical assistance towards the establishment of the CARICOM Export-Import Bank, and the deployment of the Pan African Payment and Settlement System in the Caribbean.

ACTIF23 comes as Afreximbank is seeking to double its capital base to US$60bn within six years to cater for its new larger continent of Afri-Caribbean.

CARICOM member states attended last month’s Afreximbank annual general meetings and 30th anniversary celebrations.

CARICOM is a grouping of 20 countries—15 member states and five associate members—and home to about 16m.

Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America, CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries, and except for Belize, in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America, all members and associate members are island states.


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