At the heart of the development of the Caribbean is the sustainable industrialisation of the region to achieve economic growth and transformation. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9, calls for inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) and to realise many of the socioeconomic and environmental objectives identified in the 2030 Agenda from Sustainable Development the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must be guided by an industrial policy framework.
Industrial policy falls under the portfolio of H.E. Chanderikapersad Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname and was a focal topic for discussion July’s Heads of Government meeting.
At the request of the Government of Suriname, Caribbean Export rapidly assisted the facilitation of a study on the ‘Status of Industrialization across Key Export Sectors for CARICOM Countries’. This study provided a full review of industrial policy implementation across CARICOM countries, explored the key export sectors, their level of industrialisation and impact on economic growth, employment and export earning; data analysis of current export products, export markets, labour and industrial productions and provided recommendations for regional and national industrial policy. The findings of this study will assist CARICOM Governments and policy makers to develop strategies and further develop the industry policy framework for the Caribbean.
The study showed that CARICOM economies are at a crossroad requiring a regional industrial policy that is designed in a manner that builds on the existing comparative advantages of the region. Further it is recommended that the policy promotes greater intra-regional and extra-regional trade together with further diversification of the goods and services produced in the Caribbean. Importantly, production of goods must be environmentally sustainable with the benefits from industrial policy being shared equally between countries.
The impact of climate change and COVID-19 has laid bare the need for drastic energy transition towards sustainable solutions and the rise of disruptive technologies are rapidly advancing manufacturing and digitalization in key sectors such as agriculture.