- Highly successful Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 (CIF 2023) concludes in Nassau, Bahamas
- Day two of CIF 2023 included a ministerial roundtable, panel discussions, and country pitches
- Co-operative Republic of Guyana will host Caribbean Investment Forum in 2024
Innovation, transformation, diversification, and collaboration were the words for the day as the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 (CIF 2023) came to a close in Nassau, Bahamas on Wednesday 25 October.
The influential regional conference which attracted over 500 business delegates representing 40 countries was staged at the Atlantis Resort by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) with the support of the Government of the Bahamas, CARICOM, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the European Union’s Global Gateway Initiative.
Day two of CIF 2023 began with a high-powered ministerial roundtable moderated by Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Deodat Maharaj, and featuring the Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation of the Bahamas, Chester Cooper; Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce in Guyana, Oneidge Walrond; and the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development in the Dominican Republic, Pavel Isa Contreras.
The hour-long discussion entitled ‘The Trade Investment Nexus Towards Creating a Bold New Caribbean’ touched on a wide range of issues impacting the Caribbean’s ability to do business and attract investment.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Chester Cooper, explained how the Bahamas has successfully attracted $8bn dollars (US) of foreign-direct investment over the past two years. He said: “Our international reputation of tourism and financial services, our God-given gift of location close to the USA has been helpful, along with a growing economy, stable political environment, and great international framework reputation has also been really helpful but there has to be a policy imperative upfront…
Mr Cooper added: “When the government came to office, the Prime Minister declared that the Bahamas is “open for business” and that simple declaration was an invitation to the world to participate in a very open economy, a welcoming environment where we have a framework that generally makes it easy to do business. That declaration, and the facilitation to get it done, has also been key.”
Ms Walrond spoke about ongoing efforts in Guyana to diversify the economy beyond oil. She outlined how oil resources are used to grow and support other sectors including agriculture and ICT and said the IMF, in a recent country report, praised Guyana for its efforts and “lauded it as a model for development”.
In the Dominican Republic, Mr Isa Contreras highlighted the country’s push to embrace green energy. He revealed that it is on track to generate a quarter of its electricity from renewables in 2025 which has been helped by the introduction of legislation which offers several incentives for individuals and businesses.
He also shared how the Dominican Republic is expecting to secure $4.5bn dollars (US) in foreign-direct investment in 2023. He stated: “The key is confidence. There is a lot of confidence from national and international investors…it is also about diversification. The Dominican economy, even though its most well known sector is tourism, has a strong domestic industrial sector, service and telecommunications sector, as well as agriculture. Foreign-direct Investment is happening in all those sectors.”
The thought-provoking agenda for the Forum’s second day also included a keynote presentation from the Founding Managing Partner of Celesta Capital, Dr Nicholas Brathwaite, on ‘Preparing the Caribbean’s Next Unicorn: Disruptive Technologies and the Venture Capital Ecosystem’.
Two lively panel discussions from Caribbean entrepreneurs and business leaders on ‘Unpacking the Bold New Caribbean – What it takes to Evolve and Become’ and ‘Ships May Even Fly: Promoting Investment in Logistics and Transportation’ were also on the schedule for day two, before the event concluded with business meetings and networking opportunities.
It was also announced that the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana will host next year’s Caribbean Investment Forum.
Visit the official CIF 2023 website for more information – www.caribbeaninvestmentforum.com.