Invest in the Future: Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 Unveils Lucrative Opportunities in ICT and Digital Business

The Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 (CIF 2023) stands poised to usher in a transformative era for the Caribbean region, driven by digital transformation and strategic investments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With CIF 2023 scheduled to take place from October 23 to 25 in The Bahamas, the spotlight is on exciting opportunities for Digital Transformation.

In today’s evolving technological landscape, one undeniable force has emerged as a true catalyst for change: Artificial Intelligence (AI). Its profound influence is reshaping not only the way we live and work but also the very fabric of our society. Yet, we are only beginning to witness its potential.

For Anguilla, the tiny British overseas territory of 15,000 people, in the northeastern Caribbean, the rapid developments in AI technology is expected to generate over $30 Million USD in revenue this year alone. That’s almost 10% of the island’s total GDP. What is the driving force behind this remarkable growth? Sales of Anguilla’s wildly popular domain extension, .AI.

The significance of Anguilla’s .AI domain goes beyond its monetary value; it represents a game-changing opportunity to shift global business attention toward this small but promising island and the Caribbean region as a whole. In a world where every Caribbean nation faces pivotal decisions regarding resource utilization and economic growth, Anguilla’s .AI domain stands as a prime example of the potential within the Caribbean’s grasp.

The Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 is set to host the “Captains of Industry Fireside Chat: Unpacking the Bold New Caribbean – What it Takes to Evolve and Become.” The session will confront the very decisions and opportunities countries like Anguilla, and others across the region will encounter; emphasizing the need for strategic partnerships and investment vehicles that support building out the region’s digital ecosystem in ways that utilize the resources available.

Championed by The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with esteemed partners such as the European Union, the Government of the Bahamas, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Investment Forum focuses on development opportunities in AgTech, green economy transition, ICT, logistics and Shipping.

CIF envisions a transformative path forward, leveraging technology to bolster regional growth and development. The potential applications of AI are vast and impactful across various sectors:

In healthcare, we have the potential to enhance lives through technology with:

  • Early Disease Detection: Using AI algorithms to analyze extensive medical records and diagnostic images, facilitating early disease detection, including cancer and diabetes. This translates to swifter treatments and improved patient outcomes.
  • Personalized Treatment: Using AI to craft individualized treatment plans, considering genetic factors, medical histories, and lifestyle choices. This tailored approach enhances treatment effectiveness and minimizes side effects.
  • Telemedicine: In regions with remote access challenges, AI-powered telemedicine solutions can bridge the gap, connecting patients with healthcare professionals and offering consultations even in remote areas.

In Agriculture, technology can pioneer sustainable growth:

  • Crop Management: Today, AI-driven systems have the ability to monitor crop health, detect diseases, and optimize irrigation, resulting in increased yields and reduced resource consumption.
  • Weather Predictions: AI delivers precise weather forecasts, assisting farmers in planning activities and mitigating climate change’s impact.
  • Supply Chain Optimization: AI streamlines the agricultural supply chain, curbing waste and ensuring efficient delivery of fresh produce to consumers.

“Embracing technology, including AI, is not just a choice; it’s a necessity for the Caribbean’s economic development. We envision a future where technology empowers our region, enhances innovation, and fosters sustainable growth, ensuring that the Caribbean remains globally competitive and resilient.” – Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director, Caribbean Export Development Agency

While today, Anguilla is experiencing her return on the .AI domain investment, every other Caribbean island has the opportunity to create its own vehicle for economic growth through digital transformation.

As the countdown to CIF 2023 begins, the Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) stands poised to nurture viable investments, catalyze regional expansion, and foster connections among change-makers dedicated to creating meaningful impact.

CIF, a dynamic and multi-stakeholder platform, has a core mission: to bridge investment gaps and stimulate economic growth across the Caribbean. It was designed to underpin the transformation of the Caribbean’s economy, creating job opportunities, and bridging crucial investment divides.

CIF 2023 will focus on four key investment sectors: Agriculture Technology, green economy transition including renewable energy, digital business (e-commerce, innovation, and FinTech), and logistics and transport. With an expected audience of over 800 participants, the event aims to attract investments that will accelerate the region’s transition to a smarter and greener economy while elevating the Caribbean’s profile as a prime investment destination.

Committed to translating ideas into actionable projects, forging strategic alliances, and driving economic prosperity, CIF 2023 is poised to carve out a path toward a Bold New Caribbean.

Investment Opportunities in the Caribbean to be Highlighted at the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023

The Caribbean Investment Forum 2023, a premier event focused on promoting investment opportunities in the Caribbean region, is set to take place from October 23rd to 25th at the luxurious Royal Atlantis Hotel in Nassau, The Bahamas. The event aims to showcase the Caribbean’s potential as a hub for sustainable development, innovation, and economic growth. 

Hosted by the award-winning trade promotions organisation – Caribbean Export Development Agency, the forum will gather heads of government, industry leaders, ministers, and investors from across the world to discuss and explore investment prospects in the Caribbean. With the theme “A Bold New Caribbean,” the forum will shed light on the region’s efforts to attract foreign investment and foster economic transformation. 

Executive Director of Caribbean Export, Deodat Maharaj, highlighted the immense investment opportunities available in the Caribbean during a recent interview with The European. Maharaj emphasized three key sectors as prime investment priorities: agriculture with a focus on technology, green economy transition, and innovation and digitalization. He stressed that the Caribbean’s rich potential for agricultural innovation could significantly reduce the region’s food import bill, promoting self-sufficiency and economic growth. 

Maharaj further highlighted the Caribbean’s readiness to embrace the digital age, making it a welcoming destination for businesses in the field of technology and innovation. He also pointed out the region’s commitment to building a green economy to combat climate change, offering incentives for investors interested in sustainable initiatives. 

“The Caribbean is a sea of stability in a world of uncertainty,” Maharaj said, highlighting the region’s political stability, good governance, and well-educated workforce as key factors that make it an attractive investment destination. He noted that the Caribbean’s literacy rate of around 96% and its emphasis on education create a strong foundation for business growth and development. 

The Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 will provide a platform for attendees to learn more about the Caribbean’s potential for growth, investment incentives, and business-friendly environment. It will serve as an opportunity for networking, knowledge exchange, and collaboration between local and international stakeholders. 

With a goal to achieve a consistent 15% to 20% growth in foreign direct investment over the next several years, the Caribbean Export Development Agency is focused on building a strong foundation for economic resilience and development. 

Investors, policymakers, and industry leaders interested in exploring the investment opportunities in the Caribbean are encouraged to participate in the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023. For more information and to register for the event, please visit the official website at 

*Note : The Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 is organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency to promote investment opportunities and economic growth in the Caribbean region. The event will take place from October 23rd to 25th at the Royal Atlantis Hotel in Nassau, The Bahamas.* 

Caribbean Export Recognized by Selecta for Advancing Handicraft Sector in the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Export is delighted to announce that on Friday, September 8th, the Agency was honoured by Selecta for its outstanding contributions to the development and enhancement of the Handicraft sector in the Dominican Republic. This recognition comes as a result of our unwavering commitment to nurturing and elevating the competitiveness of the handicraft industry across the Caribbean.

The prestigious accolade was bestowed upon us during the Selecta exhibition, a collaborative effort between the Dominican Development Foundation (FDD), the COOPERA Program of the Banco de Reservas, and the Fundación Reservas of the Dominican Republic. This event celebrated the remarkable journeys of 25 artisans from various craft disciplines, shining a spotlight on the exceptional accomplishments of three artisans who have earned the coveted UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The distinguished recipients of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence include “Los Santos de Palo” from the Bonao province, crafted from ancient tree trunks; “Las Mariposas de Coco” by Arteco, hailing from the Moca province, created from dried coconut shells; and “El Gallo de Madera” by Artesanía Puello, originating from the San Cristóbal province, very near Santo Domingo. These artisans have not only preserved traditional craftsmanship but have also elevated it to a global standard.

The curator of this remarkable exhibition, Mr. Valentin Guerrero, is a long-time collaborator and partner of our Agency. His passion for creative industries has been instrumental in showcasing the exceptional talents within the Dominican Republic.

The Selecta exhibition also included seasoned artisans from throughout the Dominican Republic; many of them beneficiaries from past Caribbean Export interventions. These artisans conveyed their heartfelt appreciation for the pivotal role this Agency  has played in their business growth journey. They fondly remember how our support facilitated their entry into international markets, recalling the success for the Caribbean Gift and Craft Show and Design Caribbean. These initiatives were part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme which this Agency implemented with the support of the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund.

Caribbean Export has been a driving force in transforming the handicraft sector in the Dominican Republic, in Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean region. In this year alone, the Agency successfully established the first-ever Handicraft Cluster in the Dominican Republic, boasting a membership of over 115 artisans, companies, and universities. Furthermore, in June 2023, we launched the Haitian Handicraft Cluster, aimed at empowering underserved communities to develop productive capacities for export generation.

In an exemplary display of cross-border collaboration, Caribbean Export developed a Handicraft Value Chain initiative that brought together Dominican and Haitian companies along different subsectors, such as fashion, jewellery and housewares. This Binational Value Chain launched a joint jewellery collection brand named “Symbiosis” in June 2023, which highlights the remarkable talent and tangible outcomes of true binational cooperation.

All these interventions were part of Caribbean Export’s implementation of the Trade and Private Sector Development Component of the Haiti-Dominican Republic Binational Cooperation Programme, generously funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund.

Caribbean Export is proud to receive the recognition from Selecta, and we remain steadfast in our mission to empower artisans, promote creative industries, and foster economic growth for the Caribbean region.

Caribbean Export Development Agency Garners Coveted Awards in 2023

The Caribbean Export Development Agency proudly announces its receipt of prestigious awards in recognition of its unwavering commitment to driving economic growth, sustainable business practices, and trade development in the Caribbean region.

Bestowed “Best Investment Promotions and Trade Agency 2023” by The European

The Caribbean Export Development Agency has been honoured with the esteemed title of “Best Investment Promotions and Trade Agency 2023” by The European, a highly regarded publication. This accolade commends the agency’s exceptional devotion and proficiency in catalysing business transformation and fostering investment growth through strategic alliances. The agency has consistently demonstrated its unwavering dedication to fostering economic progress and development throughout the Caribbean by actively seeking innovative solutions and attracting substantial investments to fortify local enterprises.

Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director at Caribbean Export, expressed his gratitude for the award, affirming, “This recognition reaffirms our commitment to driving investment and trade within the Caribbean region. We take immense pride in our achievements and remain resolute in our mission to nurture sustainable economic advancement and prosperity.”

Honoured for “Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Business and Economic Growth”

In addition, the agency has been bestowed the award for “Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Business and Economic Growth.” This accolade acknowledges the agency’s pivotal role in advocating, implementing, and prioritizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices. The agency’s unwavering focus on developing an Investor Map grounded in responsible and sustainable principles has yielded favourable outcomes in areas such as environmental preservation, climate action, sustainable investments, and the well-being of local communities.

Caribbean Export’s Ongoing Commitment

These prestigious awards arrive at a pivotal moment as Caribbean Export prepares to host the Caribbean Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas, in collaboration with the European Union, the Government of the Bahamas and CARICOM. The primary objective of this forum is to expedite the economic transformation of the Caribbean by attracting foreign direct investment into key sectors, including the green economy, technology, agricultural technology, and logistics and shipping.

“The European has been celebrating accomplishments, innovation, and excellence over the past decade through its annual awards program. These prestigious awards honour exceptional organizations and individuals who distinguish themselves and propel their industries toward progress. The criteria for recognition encompass crucial factors such as good governance, innovation, expertise, and exceptional service quality,” shared the European Awards Team.

Unveiling The Bold New Caribbean: The 2023 Caribbean Investment Forum Promises Bold Opportunities & Outcomes

  • The Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 to take place in The Bahamas from October 23-25.
  • CIF is the catalyst for transformative agreements; a cornerstone of regional economic growth.
  • CIF is forging a path to a brighter, more prosperous future for the Caribbean

The Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) 2023’s launch event, hosted yesterday at Atlantis in Nassau, The Bahamas, heralded the introduction of a transformative platform poised to reshape the economic landscape of the Caribbean.

As a precursor to the upcoming CIF2023, scheduled for October 23-25, under the theme “A Bold New Caribbean,” the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 launch event marks a noteworthy milestone in propelling economic growth across the Caribbean and Latin American regions. Distinguished stakeholders and industry leaders gathered to provide insights into the potential partnerships and pathways that CIF2023 promises, aimed at forging a Bold New Caribbean.

Championed by The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with esteemed partners such as the European Union, the Government of the Bahamas, and the CARICOM Secretariat, the 2023 Caribbean Investment Forum serves as a captivating sequel to the Caribbean’s premier investment event in 2022.

Mr. Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, underscored the trajectory toward generating job opportunities through business development and the international promotion of Caribbean products. Reflecting on the previous year’s success, Mr. Maharaj conveyed, “Our vision is to create a platform for businesses to engage in transformative actions. Caribbean Export is resolutely committed to driving this agenda alongside partners such as the Government of the Bahamas.”

He disclosed that out of the 600 participants attending last year’s event, 96% were businesspeople from 46 countries worldwide, emphasizing the shift towards tangible outcomes in this year’s CIF. “The Caribbean Export mantra is ‘less talk and more business,’ and this will underpin CIF 2023. We’re striving for less talk and more business as we endeavor to advance a truly transformative agenda for our region, with businesses taking a central leadership role in creating jobs and opportunities.”

Honorable Isaac Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation, shared vital sentiments on empowering Bahamian youth for employability and entrepreneurship, propelling growth for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and cultivating investment paradigms that extend to the broader Caribbean. His vision for CIF’s future resonated with progress and prosperity. He envisaged CIF evolving into “the catalyst for transformative agreements and a cornerstone of regional economic growth.”

  • The launch event on Monday also unveiled more of what attendees can anticipate from the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023:
  • Investment Villages offering insights into high-value investment projects poised to reshape the economic landscape.
  • Dedicated Business Opportunity Centers for impactful business meetings, nurturing alliances that propel businesses forward.
  • A Conference App to facilitate engagement among participants, maximizing networking opportunities and idea exchange.
  • A Ministerial Panel featuring distinguished ministers from nations such as the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, and St. Kitts and Nevis discussing collaborative efforts for regional progress.
  • Demonstrations and prototypes from partners and stakeholders who are currently implementing innovative projects.

Ambassador Marianne Van Steen, of the European Union, a pivotal partner for CIF 2023, highlighted that the CIF initiative was an important part of the Global Gateway Investment Agenda. Referencing the July summit with the United Nations and countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Van Steen reiterated, “The shared determination to collectively address global challenges, which are no longer surmountable individually, yielded tangible outcomes in the form of our Global Gateway Investment Agenda. This agenda aims to invigorate crucial investments in Latin America and the Caribbean, aligning with their pursuit of sustainable development goals.”

A prime instance of how CIF drives sustainable development was the announcement of the partnership between Ramp Logistics of Trinidad and Tobago, and Flying Ship Technologies of the United States. The signed letter of intent between these companies will introduce unmanned autonomous, eco-friendly, wing-in-ground-effect vessels, or “Flying Ships,” to the Caribbean and South America. This pioneering collaboration is poised to revolutionize shipping in the region by reducing vessel costs, significantly shortening shipping times, and diminishing the carbon footprint.

CIF attendees in the Bahamas this October will be treated to a demonstration of this technology and other initiatives that are revolutionizing the region.

Speaking passionately about CIF and Caribbean Export, Mr. Maharaj expressed, “…we are not solely charting a course for investments; we are forging a path to a brighter, more prosperous future for the Caribbean. The synergy between innovation, business, and collaboration is what will genuinely propel us to unlock our region’s potential.”

As anticipation heightens for the CIF 2023 event in October, the Caribbean Investment Forum is ready to cultivate viable investments, regional expansion, and connections among change-makers committed to making a meaningful impact.

The Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) serves as a dynamic, multi-stakeholder platform aimed at closing investment gaps and fostering economic growth throughout the Caribbean. This multi-disciplinary platform aims to support the transformation of the Caribbean’s economy, create job opportunities, and bridge investment gaps.

CIF 2023 will focus on four key investment sectors: Agriculture Technology, renewable energy, digital business (e-commerce, innovation, and FinTech), and logistics and transport. With an expected audience of over 800 participants, the event aims to attract investments that will accelerate the region’s transition to a smarter and greener economy while elevating the Caribbean’s profile as a prime investment destination.

Committed to actionable projects, strategic partnerships, and economic growth, CIF 2023 is poised to pave the way for a Bold New Caribbean.

View the recording of the CIF 2023 launch event here:

A Bold New Caribbean: Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 Paves the Way to a Smarter, Greener Future

  • The Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 to take place in The Bahamas from October 23-25.
  • The region’s premier business event, set to attract international investors to the Caribbean.
  • CIF2023 will focus on accelerating investments into agriculture technology, renewable energy, digital business and logistics.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) together with its partners, the European Union, the Government of The Bahamas and the CARICOM Secretariat is to host the highly anticipated 2nd staging of the Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF). The region’s premier business event scheduled for October 23-25, 2023, in The Bahamas, aims to support the transformation of the Caribbean’s economy, create job opportunities, and bridge investment gaps. This multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform, is set to accelerate the region’s development through strategic private investments into key priority sectors.

CIF 2023 will focus on four key investment sectors: Agriculture Technology, renewable energy, digital business (e-commerce, innovation, and FinTech), and logistics and transport. With an expected audience of over 800 participants, the event seeks to attract investments that will fast-track the region’s transition to a smarter and greener economy while raising the visibility of the Caribbean as a prime investment destination.

“We extend a warm invitation to strategic investors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, and other institutional investors to explore the vast investment opportunities in the Caribbean,” said Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director at Caribbean Export. “From agriculture and agribusiness to energy, ICT, infrastructure, and financial services, CIF 2023 is committed to advancing your investment prospects as we continue on an exciting journey to shape a Bold New Caribbean.”

The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation said, “The Bahamas is honoured to host Caribbean Investment Forum, the region’s premier investment conference, at a time when, we, nations of the Caribbean, are seeking to leverage our investment opportunities to strengthen our economies.”

“For us in The Bahamas, this Forum is a singular opportunity to showcase the myriad of investment opportunities that are available across our 16-island destination, across sectors, from tourism and agriculture to renewable energy, wellness and digital.”

Distinguished as the premier investment attraction platform for the Caribbean region, CIF 2023 offers a highly interactive and focused environment where participants engage in concrete discussions, critically examine investment dossiers and meticulously evaluate proposals prepared by industry experts and professionals. The Forum will serve as the marketplace and nerve center for sharing, learning, and discussing business and investment deals that come together to create A Bold New Caribbean.

Visit to find out more.

Caribbean Export Forges Closer Ties with the Dominican Republic through Headquarters Agreement Signing

  • Caribbean Export signs a Headquarters Agreement with the Government of the Dominican Republic.
  • The signing marks a milestone in a new era of collaboration and progress for the Caribbean.
  • Caribbean Export is committed to fostering greater regional trade and attracting foreign direct investment to the Caribbean.

Santo Domingo, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC –   

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) took a significant step forward in strengthening trade and cooperation with the Dominican Republic as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Álvarez, and Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Deodat Maharaj, gathered for the momentous signing of a Headquarters Agreement formalizing the operations of the Subregional Office of the agency in the Dominican Republic (DR).

After signing the agreement, Minister Álvarez highlighted that Dominican companies will now enjoy the distinct advantage of having the agency’s Subregional Office formally established within the country. Caribbean Export’s primary objective is to boost trade and investment between the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) group of countries[1], the European Union, other parts of the world.

“For over 20 years, Caribbean Export Development Agency has implemented innovative initiatives designed to facilitate the expansion of Caribbean companies at the national, regional, and international levels, taking advantage of special access to the European market. With the establishment of this office, a great opportunity opens up for the Dominican Republic to support export-capable companies, enhance their capacity and competitiveness, boost export earnings, and create more jobs, as outlined in the second pillar of our foreign policy,” stated Minister Roberto Álvarez.

Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Deodat Maharaj, highlighted the significance of this agreement, as it marks the formal establishment of the agency’s subregional office in the Dominican Republic. Moreover, it demonstrates the Dominican Republic’s commitment to working jointly with the agency to promote regional trade and attract foreign direct investment to the Caribbean.

“For Caribbean Export, the Dominican Republic holds significant relevance in the context of trade integration, and we will work together to create a bridge between Latin America and the rest of the Caribbean,” expressed Maharaj.

With conviction, he confirmed that this agreement firmly establishes the Subregional Office of the agency in the country. In light of this, Maharaj seized the opportunity to urge the Dominican private sector to regard Caribbean Export as a crucial ally in their individual growth strategies, particularly those geared towards bolstering exports and attracting foreign investments. He emphasized, “Only together can we pave the way for a smarter, greener, and more resilient Caribbean.”

The signing of the Headquarters Protocol represents a collaborative effort between the Vice Ministry of Economic Affairs and International Cooperation, the Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Caribbean Export. Recognizing Caribbean Export as an international organization headquartered in Barbados, this protocol solidifies the agency’s purpose of promoting trade, export development, and investments among CARIFORUM countries to drive socioeconomic development and regional integration.

Under this agreement, the Dominican Government has committed to providing the necessary facilities to ensure the seamless functioning of Caribbean Export’s Subregional Office and to uphold the commitments made by the 15 CARIFORUM countries upon the agency’s inception in 1995.

The momentous event was attended by distinguished representatives, including Minister of Economy, Planning, and Development, Pável Isa Contreras, and Deputy Minister of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development (MEPYD), Olaya Dotel. Also present were Vice Ministers Opinio Díaz and Carlos de la Mota from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX), and Hugo Fco. Rivera, the director of the National Commission on Trade Negotiations, representing the Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation. Additionally, Leonel Naut, Deputy Executive Director of Caribbean Export Development Agency, played a key role in the event.

Caribbean Export Development Agency looks forward to further enhancing its ties with the Dominican Republic and working together to drive economic growth, regional trade, and prosperity for all nations in the Caribbean. This milestone marks a new era of collaboration and progress for the entire region.

[1] CARICOM countries and the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Export Presents 2022 Annual Report in the Dominican Republic: Transforming Towards a Smarter, Greener, and More Resilient Caribbean

SANTO DOMINGO – The Caribbean Export Development Agency presented its 2022 annual results report with the theme “Transforming Towards a Smarter, Greener, and More Resilient Caribbean.”

Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of Caribbean Export, explained that this report provides a comprehensive and structured overview of the work carried out by Caribbean Export during 2022, highlighting collaboration with key partners, positive impact on beneficiaries and communities, involvement with regional institutions, and the implementation of various activities in their offices in Barbados, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. He also emphasized the valuable contributions of their teams in different countries.

He highlighted that this is the second edition of the report, which will continue to be presented annually to showcase the efforts made to promote economic development in the Caribbean and, particularly, in the Dominican Republic. “We want to highlight all the results that Caribbean Export achieved last year for the benefit of the regional private sector.”

Maharaj reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to providing access to financing for the private sector. “In a recovery environment, it is essential that private sector companies have equitable access to financing tools, as these help them develop, redefine, upgrade, and optimize their operations and processes as they work towards their export development goals.”

He also mentioned that Caribbean Export has one of the highest program implementation rates in the region. In 2022, over 140 companies from the 15 member states benefited from all the programs implemented by the agency, with support from partners and donors at the regional level. Through the Regional Private Sector Support Program, which Caribbean Export implements under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) funded by the European Union, they managed to address the difficulty of accessing financing through a grant program, disbursing more than 2 million euros. This is a testimony to the direct impact and work that the agency carries out for small businesses throughout the region.

Maharaj invited support for the initiatives presented in the report to achieve a smarter, greener, and more resilient Caribbean. “In this sense, we seek to foster collaboration and engagement from all stakeholders, including governments, non-governmental organizations, local communities, and businesses, to achieve a more prosperous and resilient Caribbean in the face of future challenges.”

He emphasized that focusing on a greener economy is vital for the Caribbean’s sustainability. “This region is one of the most vulnerable areas in the world to the effects of climate change, so it is essential to promote sustainable business practices and responsible use of natural resources. At the same time, new trade opportunities must be developed in eco-friendly sectors, such as renewable energy generation and technology-optimized sustainable agriculture.”

He pointed out that resilience is crucial due to the recurring threats the region faces, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. “By building a more resilient economy, strategies can be implemented to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of these events. This includes investments in more robust infrastructures, early warning systems, emergency plans, and greater economic diversification.”

Maharaj explained that economic resilience ensures that, despite challenges, businesses can recover more quickly and continue their operations, thus avoiding significant losses.

During the event, the overall results of the Trade and Private Sector Component, implemented by Caribbean Export under the Bilateral Cooperation Program between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, were also communicated. This program is also financed by the European Union under the 11th EDF. This component achieved synergy in co-promotion and co-production between the Dominican Republic and Haiti through the creation of three value chains: cacao/chocolate, essential oils/cosmetics, and crafts/fashion/accessories. The program also promoted higher quality standards, advances in trade policy, and the establishment of better dialogue between the public and private sectors.

The report concluded with an invitation from Deputy Executive Director of the Agency, Leonel Naut, to the entire Dominican private sector to participate in the 2023 Caribbean Investment Forum in The Bahamas from October 23 to 25 of the current year. This forum will be the largest business event in the region with an expected audience of more than 800 entrepreneurs from around the world.

In addition to Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of Caribbean Export, and Leonel Naut, Deputy Executive Director of the Agency, the event was attended by Alba Díaz, Senior Advisory Officer; Alexandra Chía, Operations Officer; Paul Charles, Operations Officer, and Romily Thevenin, Research and Communications Officer, among other executives.

Crafts Cluster for Export Launched in the Dominican Republic to Boost Economic Development

SANTO DOMINGO – Aiming to drive economic development through the promotion of craftsmanship,  and expand the presence of Dominican products in global markets, the Crafts Cluster for Export of the Dominican Republic (CLARDEXPO) was officially launched on June 13th, 2023.

Under the leadership of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the pioneering project was established as part of the Trade and Private Sector Support Component of the Haiti-Dominican Republic Bilateral Cooperation Program, implemented within the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), financed by the European Union.

CLARDEXPO encompasses various sectors, including jewelry, fashion, accessories, textile, decoration, home, wood, and recycling. The initiative was born out of the establishment of a binational craftsmanship value chain, uniting businesses, public institutions, and universities associated with the craft industry in the Dominican Republic. Together, they strive to enhance the promotion and exportation of innovative Dominican products.

During the inaugural event, the board of directors, serving until 2024, was sworn in. Led by Antonio Ramos Fernández, Executive Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Production of Santo Domingo. The board comprises accomplished individuals from diverse backgrounds; Carla Quiñones Polanco, Vice President and Project Manager of the Jenny Polanco Foundation, assumes the role of Vice President, while Ada Lora Comprés, Secretary and Anthropologist at the Deputy Ministry of Protected Areas and Biodiversity, will provide essential support. Jorge Caridad, President of the Mundo del Ámbar Museum, will oversee the financial aspects as Treasurer.

Furthermore, the vocal members of the board include Mariano Frontera Martínez, Executive Director of the Dominican Development Foundation; Fátima Ivette Polanco, renowned jewelry designer and manager of 3 Estilos SRL, representing the Dominican Republic at prestigious international events; Giselle Mancebo Castillo, an esteemed jewelry designer; Elba Espinal Gómez, Treasurer of the Ciudad Corazón Artisans Association in Santiago; Ramón Quezada Batista, President of the Association of Dominican Chacabanas Artisans (ACHADOM); Norkelly Acosta Collado, environmental designer and accomplished muralist in the country’s urban art scene; and Yazmín Guerrero Ureña, Manager of Cayenart, a distinguished company specializing in handmade Dominican crafts.

Honorary members of the board include representatives from various government and academic institutions, demonstrating their commitment to supporting the crafts industry. The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and SMEs, through its Vice Ministry of SME Development, will be represented by José De Ferrari. The Ministry of Culture, through its Fostering and Development of Cultural Industries division, will be represented by Director Richarson Díaz. FODEARTE, through the Directorate of Promotion and Development of National Crafts, will be represented by Director General Ramón Guillén. ProDominicana, through its Mipymes Export Center, will be represented by Manager Víctor Encarnación. SUPERATE’s Solidarity Trade program will be represented by Director Esther Castillo. Additionally, the academic sector will be represented by the Technological Catholic University of Barahona (UCATEBA), with Rector Fr. Marco Antonio Pérez, and the Pontifical Catholic University Mother and Teacher (PUCMM), with Roselys Arias serving as the Director of the Mipymes Center.

Caribbean Export, as the regional entity dedicated to promoting economic and trade development in CARIFORUM countries, will continue to provide ongoing support to CLARDEXPO, fostering its growth through the implementation of private sector support programs.

Moving forward, the project aims to secure governmental support to further empower the crafts industry, ensure transparent processes, and effectively position Dominican artisanal products for successful exportation.

The Caribbean and Nigeria Strengthen Economic Cooperation Through New Agreement

  • Caribbean Export and key Nigerian private sector organizations sign MOU to enhance economic cooperation
  • Agreement focuses on trade promotion, investment facilitation, and knowledge exchange
  • Partnership aims to unlock new business opportunities, strengthen MSMEs, and increase exports between the Caribbean and Nigeria

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and key private sector organizations in Nigeria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at fostering increased economic cooperation between the Caribbean region and Nigeria. The signing ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023, on the 2nd leg of the Agency’s trade mission under the theme ‘Advancing Trade & Investment Between the Caribbean and West Africa’.

The MOU outlines a framework for collaboration in various sectors, including trade promotion, investment facilitation, and the exchange of knowledge and expertise. The agreement reflects the shared commitment of both parties to explore and maximize the vast potential for economic growth and development through mutually beneficial partnerships.

Caribbean Export, the regional trade and investment promotion agency for the Caribbean, brings extensive experience in facilitating market access, building capacity, and supporting entrepreneurship across the region. With a rich history of promoting regional integration and driving trade diversification, the Agency is well-positioned to leverage this partnership to unlock new opportunities for Caribbean businesses in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of Caribbean Export, emphasized the goal of creating opportunities for Nigerian businesses in the Caribbean region and vice versa. The majority of businesses in both regions are Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), which account for a significant portion of total employment. The MOU aims to strengthen these enterprises and foster job creation.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and a key player in the continent’s trade landscape, presents immense potential for Caribbean exporters and investors. The signing of the MOU signifies Nigeria’s recognition of the Caribbean region’s strengths in key areas. By collaborating closely with Caribbean Export, Nigeria aims to establish stronger trade ties, opening doors for increased investment and business opportunities.

Femi Egbesola, president of the Association of Small Business Owners in Nigeria, expressed excitement about the agreement, noting the potential it holds for Nigerian entrepreneurs to engage in businesses with Caribbean countries. He highlighted the lack of awareness about Caribbean trade among many Nigerian entrepreneurs and expressed optimism that the partnership would provide new doors and opportunities.

Commenting on the signing of the MOU, Deodat Maharaj, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration: “This partnership with Nigeria holds tremendous potential for both regions. We look forward to leveraging our collective strengths to facilitate increased trade and investment flows, ultimately driving sustainable economic growth and prosperity for businesses and individuals in the Caribbean and Nigeria.” Maharaj also emphasized the goal of significantly increasing exports from the Caribbean to Nigeria within the next 18 months.

Moving forward, Caribbean Export and Nigeria will work diligently to implement the objectives outlined in the MOU, fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors and facilitating meaningful connections between businesses from both regions.

Caribbean Export Signs Three MOUs to Support the Increased Trade Between the Caribbean and Ghana

  • Caribbean-West Africa Trade mission to Ghana aimed at fostering collaboration and exploring trade opportunities between Ghana and the Caribbean.
  • MoUs signed between Caribbean Export and key Ghanaian organizations to enhance collaboration and trade relations.
  • Government officials, business leaders, and trade experts engaged in networking and business-to-business meetings to facilitate connections and exchange ideas for mutual growth.

Last Tuesday, June 6, 2023, witnessed a significant gathering of government officials, business leaders, and trade experts at first leg of the Caribbean-West Africa Trade mission to Ghana. Hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), the mission aimed to foster collaboration and explore emerging areas for trade and investment opportunities between Ghana and the Caribbean.

The opening session welcomed the Hon. Stephen Amoah, the Deputy Minister of Trade from the Government of Ghana, who delivered remarks, expressing the government’s commitment to fostering trade relations with the Caribbean. Benjamin Dzoboku, Managing Director of Republic Bank Ghana PLC, and Mr Gerald Nsomba, Specialist Trade and Corporate Finance with AfriExim Bank, also shared their perspectives on the significance of the Ghana-Caribbean partnership and their efforts to support SME development along with trade and business opportunities between the regions.

The signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) took place between Caribbean Export and prominent Ghanaian organizations, including the Private Enterprise Federation, Ghana Union of Traders Association, and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI). These MoUs aim to foster closer collaboration and enhance trade relations between the Caribbean and Ghana, exploring potential partnerships for joint activities and facilitate businesses in key sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture technology and ICT.

Mr Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of Caribbean Export, speaking at the event emphasized the importance of forging strong partnerships and highlighted the potential for economic growth through collaboration between Ghana and the Caribbean. 

“The decision to mount this mission to Ghana was in line with Barbados’ commitment to strengthen its bilateral relationship with Ghana and the continent of Africa, particularly in relation to the green and orange economies” he shared.

Furthermore, Hon Ginger Moxey, Minister for Grand Bahama from the Government of the Bahamas, and Hon. Sandra Husbands, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, added their voices to the conversation, emphasizing the potential for mutually beneficial cooperation between Ghana and the Caribbean.

Mr Clement Osei-Amoako, President of GNCCI, speaking at the signing ceremony said it was only through trade that the private sector could harness their full potential and grow together with the Caribbean given the similarities their share.

“So, I see this as an opportunity for us to see our counterparts from the Caribbean and trade with them” he added.

Following the signing ceremony, participants had the opportunity to network and engage in business-to-business meetings which provided a conducive environment for fostering concrete connections and exchanging ideas.

Caribbean Export launches “SYMBIOSIS,” an exhibition that merges Dominican and Haitian talent.

The showcase transcends geographical boundaries to present the work of 16 artisans in the field of handmade jewelry, with the aim of highlighting the design potential and craftsmanship of the island.

SANTO DOMINGO – “Symbiosis,” an exhibition and design brand, has been created within the Trade and Private Sector component of the Haiti-Dominican Republic Bilateral Cooperation Program, financed by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). This component is executed by the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the only trade and investment promotion agency for CARIFORUM countries.

With the objective of strengthening the production capacity of the craft value chain, as well as fostering creative and cultural diversity on the island through the design of new value-added products to enhance export offerings and contribute to the economic development of the sector, Caribbean Export announced “Symbiosis,” a binational exhibition featuring artisans from the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Comprised of 16 artists and designers from both countries, the exhibition will include a jewelry collection, enriching the project and highlighting the cultural expression of the Caribbean. It will take place from June 23rd to 25th, 2023, at Quinta Dominica in Santo Dominigo, Dominican Republic, showcasing 125 unique pieces.

In this first edition, the emphasis is on the creation of handmade jewelry, primarily fashion accessories, in various shapes and colors, using raw materials shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with a particular focus on vegetation (coconut palm), minerals (semiprecious stones such as jasper, malachite, azurite, amber, and larimar), and animal byproducts (horn and bone).

It is worth noting that all these natural objects have been transformed and designed to become an original collection of goldsmithing, promoting responsible practices in terms of natural resource use, environmental respect, and appreciation of culture and tradition. The collection is made with the skill of Dominican and Haitian artisans, which the public will be able to appreciate during the exhibition.

“This production is intended for export. The marketing channel selected to commercialize the products will cater to the demands of the niche market in the English-speaking Caribbean, Europe, and North America. Similarly, this collection promotes binational dialogue between both countries through the collaborative spirit with which these pieces were created. We aim to position craftsmanship, as well as all creative industries, as an engine for economic development, aiming towards the internationalization of the art and culture industry and thus harnessing the economic potential of this value chain,” emphasized Leonel Naut, Deputy Executive Director of Caribbean Export Agency.