Dr Irfaan Ali, the President of Guyana, requested the Caribbean private sector to find a solution to address the challenges faced in transportation within the region.
Dr Ali expressed his disappointment that the regional private sector might not seize this opportunity by the African Ex-Im Bank to address the failure of the regional transport system at the second AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF23)
The forum, which is being conducted under the theme of “Creating a Shared Prosperous Future”, especially mentioned the maritime transport infrastructure.
Ali added that they have the freedom to plant and process as much as they desire.
They also have the freedom to pursue the following:
– Industrial Development
– Redesign the Supply Chain
The issue with this initiative is that they’ll have to move resources to find out the solution to establish efficient transportation throughout the region to ensure smooth movement of goods.
The forum is being conducted by the Egypt-based African Export-Import Bank and last time it was held in Barbados.
In August, the Caribbean office was opened in Barbados, with an asset base of US$35 billion. It was the first out of the 11 Caribbean countries to become a member of the bank outside the continent. They have also opened a credit facility of US$1.5 billion to the region.
Ali stated that the bank has assured them that they will examine their proposal in order to find a solution to their transportation problems.
It was clarified by the member states of CARICOM that they will provide all the required incentives to facilitate the building of a regional transport infrastructure system to tackle the obstacles the current system is facing.
Ali stated that the ball was in the court of the private sector now and challenged the regional private sector to take up this initiative.
He remarked that Afreximbank will be a leading entity in this initiative and will form an organization between the providers who are under the regional association and the Afreximbank portfolio.
He added that they’ll have to sideline all the fictional barriers and will have to work together as an association so as to assemble collective capital, the collective structure and collective planning in order to utilize the existing large opportunities.
The private sector has failed in the task of providing apt solutions to this issue according to President Irfaan Ali. It is not a state opportunity but a business opportunity in his assessment. The region’s government is ready for this business opportunity to provide them with the fiscal system and all the right incentives.
He noted that one of the major disadvantages they are facing is the immense use of modern technologies and innovations as they will have to surpass themselves in the digitalization. He also added that the leaders of CARICOM are struggling with this challenge and have not met the current technological standards around the world because of the digital world and modernization.
Therefore, he arrived at the conclusion that CARICOM and Afreximbank must manage their time so that they can facilitate the proper use of technology to expedite innovation and the digital world by 2030 and beyond.