The Caribbean Export Development Agency will maintain its focus on "building a SMARTer, GREENer Caribbean" when it hosts the Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) in The Bahamas in October this year.
A delegation from the agency visited The Bahamas last week to engage in meetings with key stakeholders in preparation for the event scheduled to take place October 23–25, 2023 at the Atlantis, Paradise Island, in The Bahamas.
For the upcoming event, Caribbean Export aims to attract targeted investments in four prioritised industries — the digital economy, agricultural technology (agri-tech), renewable energy, and transportation and logistics. Another objective of the forum is to "enhance the visibility of the region and the host country as attractive investment destinations".
The event will also facilitate networking and collaboration between investors within and outside of the Caribbean region in a bid to generate business deals in key sectors.
"The primary focus is to create a platform for businesses to engage with one another and foster new business opportunities," a release from Caribbean Export outlined.
"The event serves as the foremost platform for attracting investments in the region, offering an opportunity to showcase the Caribbean as an appealing investment destination with the potential to drive transformative growth. The CIF is distinguished by its exclusive focus on investment, with the primary aim of attracting business persons from the region and carefully screened investors from around the world who are interested in participating and contributing to the event," it added.
Now hosting CIF for the second time — following what it deemed a "successful" staging in Trinidad and Tobago last November — Caribbean Export will be partnering with the European Union, Caribbean Community (Caricom), and The Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation to plan and execute the event. The agency said it will build on the accomplishments of the inaugural CIF and fast-track fulfilling its mission of creating a more environmentally sustainable and technologically advanced Caribbean.
"Whilst the event encouraged the exchange of ideas and strategies between public and private sector entities to advance the key sectors, strong focus was placed on the business element. The CIF was an enabler of business, facilitating over 260 high-quality business-to-business meetings," the agency's 2022 annual report stated.
"Further, the CIF provided a platform for countries and businesses to pitch their bankable projects to the attending investor audience. Eleven countries pitched some 23 projects and 85 per cent of post-event survey respondents who attended the country pitches indicated that the sessions were useful in assisting them to discover new investment opportunities," the report continued.
Last year CIF attracted 535 delegates from 46 countries.
"It is anticipated that this year's event will surpass last year's achievements and attract over 800 business professionals seeking to invest in the Caribbean or secure investment into their multimillion-dollar projects," Caribbean Export stated.
Caribbean Export will play the critical role of bridging the gap between "packaging investment opportunities in the identified priority sectors" and assisting businesses in attracting investments in these key areas. To this end, it is pitching the region as an ideal location for investors on the bases of accessibility, openness to trade, modern infrastructure, economic and political stability, skilled labour force, among other benefits.
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