HUNDREDS OF businesses and investors from across the world are being invited to help build a “SMARTer, GREENer Caribbean” via the inaugural Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago from November 8-11,2022.
At the virtual launch of CIF 2022 this week more than 400 participants heard details about the dynamic agenda for the business-focused event which will bring together key decision- makers, foreign-direct investors, government agencies, and entrepreneurs, to engage and connect for the benefit of the region, a release from the CIF said.
The Forum will particularly highlight four important sectors for growth: AgTech, Renewable Energy, Transportation and Logistics, and Digital Business. Its main objectives include building regional resilience, establishing long-term jobs, and championing sustainable development.
Speaking at the launch, Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Deodat Maharaj, said the Forum was timely and essential because “business and investment have an absolutely critical role to play in driving transformation” in the Caribbean.
He added: “The last two years have demonstrated to us more than ever that building resilience must be the top priority of our region.The COVID-19 pandemic placed enormous stress on our economies and societies…it is crystal clear that we need to have a forensic focus on sectors that can drive and advance this transformation.”
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union, Trinidad and Tobago, Peter Cavendish, emphasised the Caribbean’s attractiveness to investors as a peaceful region with well-established democracies and highly talented populations.
Cavendish added that “The Caribbean is composed of vibrant nations which are active in all of the major economic sectors… and the Caribbean nations’ policies are very naturally closely aligned with the EU’s policies in areas such as the Green deal, digitalisation, economic growth and resilience, and in defending common democratic values.
“The Caribbean also lies within the vast markets of North and South America and consider also their long associations with Europe, consider the linking of the Caribbean and the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal, through which a huge percentage of world trade passes.”
In her remarks at the launch, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee- Scoon, welcomed the staging of CIF 2022.
“This Forum is truly a regional event,” Gopee-Scoon stated. “It will have at its core the private sector and entrepreneurs whose ideas and expertise at capital will ultimately result in tangible, sustainable projects across the region.”
She added: “The Caribbean Investment Forum is our window to the world and we look forward to welcoming investors and business executives who wish to strengthen and diversify their products… “This Forum creates a very unique opportunity for investors to bring together capital with ideas and shovel-ready projects that will undoubtedly redound to the benefit of all of us. The Forum promises to be rich in its daily offerings given the stellar list of presenters and participants. The Caribbean is open for business, our teams are ready, and we look forward to welcoming all of you.”
CIF 2022 will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad and Tobago. It will feature a range of high-level presentations, panel discussions, round tables, site visits, and networking opportunities under the theme ‘Building A SMARTer, GREENer, Caribbean’.
The Forum’s speakers will include Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, H.E. Wamkele Mene; Founding Managing Partner of Celesta Capital, Nicholas Brathwaite; Executive Director of Invest SVG, Annette Mark; and the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Massy Holdings, Gervase Warner.
Billed as the “largest gathering of businesses since COVID-19’ in the region, CIF 2022 is being hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, CARICOM, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies and with the support of the European Union.