by Linda Straker
- Royston Cumberbatch representing Grenada at ACTIF2022
- Forum intends to advance trade and investment between regions’ private sectors
- ACTIF2022 convened by Government of Barbados, Afreximbank, African Union Commission, the AfCFTA Secretariat, Africa Business Council, Caricom Secretariat and Caribbean Export Development Agency
Royston Cumberbatch, Vice President of the GIDC Investment Promotion Agency, is among over 1,500 delegates from 93 countries participating in the first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum, which opened in Barbados on 1 September 2022, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre under the theme for ACTIF2022 is ‘One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future’.
Cumberbatch is responsible for promoting Grenada as a place to invest. He is also responsible for policy advocacy.
According to information on the website promoting the event, the Forum intends to help strengthen relations between the 2 regions’ private sectors to advance trade and investment.
The Forum will focus on business-to-business engagements and panel discussions on several topics, including accelerating industrialisation and manufacturing; developing special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial parks; improving infrastructure, financing and trade logistics, including regional integration; creating the conditions to accelerate private sector investment; promoting trade and tourism; and improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities and food security.
Presentations and panel sessions address a wide cross-section of key topics such as opportunities across the cultural and creative industries; leveraging the power of the African Continental Free Trade Area; improving logistics to promote tourism, trade and telecommunications and improving agricultural productivity, agribusiness and food security; healthcare and life sciences;
The opening ceremony on 1 September 2022 heard addresses from Barbados’ Prime Minister Hon. Mia Amor Mottley; President Chandrikapersad Santokhi of Suriname, Chairman of Caricom; and Hon. Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation, Republic of Senegal.
ACTIF2022 is being convened by the Government of Barbados and Afreximbank, in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Africa Business Council, the Caricom Secretariat and the Caribbean Export Development Agency. The Forum is co-managed by Invest Barbados and Export Barbados.
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 2022 AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum as a key strategic activity toward institutionalising the engagement between both regions’ private sectors to advance trade and investment relations.