Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper called on Caribbean countries to form a united front to secure a brighter future for all.
He was addressing the morning session of the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023, on Tuesday, October 24, at Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island.
The Bahamas welcomed some 500 delegates representing 40 countries, and 45 institutional investors with an estimated $160 billion in their portfolio to the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023, which opened Monday, October 23, by Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis.
The Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) was touted the biggest gathering of business in the Caribbean for the calendar year, and a venue for showcasing the region’s commercial potential.
The forum was held by The Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the European Union, the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the CARICOM Secretariat, October 23-25 under the theme: “A Bold New Caribbean.”
The Agenda provided delegates the opportunity to hear from industry experts on opportunities available in key sectors of the Caribbean’s transition to a GREEN-er, SMART-er, stronger, region: Agri-Tech, Renewable Energy, ICT, FinTech & Digital Business, Infrastructure, and more.
The deputy prime minister emphasized the crucial importance of the Caribbean coming together, as uniting strengths and harnessing abundant resources to forge firmer ties for the betterment of the economic, educational, and social development.
“In a world marked by constant change and challenges, it is only by collaborating as a united Caribbean family that we can realize our full potential and secure a brighter future for all,” the deputy prime minister said.
He regarded economic development as the heart of collective aspirations.
“The Caribbean region is rich in resources, both natural and human, and we possess the ingredients for our further economic prosperity,” he said, adding that the true potential can only be unlocked when all work together.
Referring to the Caribbean Community and the objectives under which it was established, the deputy prime minister noted that the original Treaty of Chaguaramas called for member states to collectively achieve various economic goals, including improved standards of living, trade expansion, and greater economic leverage, among other things.
“We have made progress but we are far from achieving those aims, he said.
With a background as an investment banker and a businessman, the deputy prime minister said he believes that much of what the region seeks through organizations like CARICOM and the Caribbean Tourism Organization can be advanced through private-sector commercial collaboration.
In strengthening bonds, he said the region could bridge the gaps that exist by fostering unity, and mutual respect, creating social safety nets, and addressing common challenges such as healthcare, poverty, and disaster preparedness.
“To secure a brighter future for all, we must band together, utilize our resources wisely, and strengthen our ties for economic, educational, and social development,” the deputy prime minister said.
By LINDSAY THOMPSON/Bahamas Information Services