Georgetown, Guyana, 31, October 2023: The curtains have come down on the second AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF23) in Georgetown, Guyana. This two-day confluence, anchored under the theme ‘Creating a Shared Prosperous Future’, has heralded a new era of cooperation aimed at enhancing trade and investment avenues for nations across Africa and the Caribbean.
Drawing from the communique, Permanent Secretary of Guyana’s Foreign Ministry, Elizabeth Harper read the group’s resolution. It highlighted an ardent call to global bodies like the African Union, CARICOM, and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to fortify African-Caribbean political relationships to propel economic alliances, bilateral trade, and the pivotal concept of establishing an African-Caribbean free trade zone.
The forum echoed a unanimous voice for fostering partnerships with stalwarts like the African Business Council, the CARICOM private sector, and the International Trade Centre. Their combined vision is the operationalization of the African Caribbean Business Council, designed as a nucleus for private sector amalgamation.
Over the span of ACTIF23, the dedication to mutual growth was evident. African and Caribbean governments and their business counterparts inked several groundbreaking agreements. These spanned diverse sectors: from energy and tourism to logistics, construction, agriculture, sports and the burgeoning creative industries.
Reflecting on the forum’s culmination, Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh shared, “Hosting ACTIF23 has been monumental for Guyana. This event has been a catalyst in reinforcing the ties between our regions and shedding light on the myriad of challenges we collectively aim to overcome”.
President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict O. Oramah, added weight to this vision, underlining the pressing need for genuine integration. “Our collaborative endeavors signal a future where we overcome regional challenges through reinforced south-south cooperation. The horizon seems promising, with a unified payment system bridging Africa and the Caribbean becoming an imminent reality,” he noted.
Tracing back to its inception, ACTIF23 follows the foundational forum in Bridgetown, Barbados. That maiden edition witnessed a game-changing partnership between Afreximbank and CARICOM. This alliance was crafted to amplify trade and investment synergies, anchored by mutual support and financial facilitation.
With its rich tapestry of delegates—approximately 1400 from 33 African nations, 13 Caribbean territories, and 18 countries beyond – ACTIF23, co-hosted by the Government of Guyana and Afreximbank, has stamped its significance in the annals of global trade dialogues.
ACTIF23 has sculpted a roadmap for an intertwined and prosperous future for the African and Caribbean diasporas, reinforcing its stature as a cornerstone in global trade forums.
For more information about ACTIF23 please visit: https://actif2023.afreximbankevents.com/
About the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum
The idea for ACTIF2022 resulted from an official Afreximbank visit to Barbados in September 2021, which followed that month’s inaugural Africa/CARICOM Summit. During the visit, the Government of Barbados and Afreximbank identified the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum as a key strategic activity towards institutionalising the engagement between both regions’ private sectors to advance trade and investment relations. The inaugural edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum was held in Bridgetown, Barbados from September 1–3, 2022, and the second edition is being held in Georgetown, Guyana, from 30 – 31 October 2023.
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2022, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$86 billion between 2016 and 2022. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”).
For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com
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