By Staff Reporter
The three-day AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2022 (ACTIF2022) hosted in Bridgetown, Barbados, ended on a high note with the signing of a total of 14 agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) aimed at deepening economic ties between Africa and the Caribbean.
The agreements, expected to form the foundation for strengthened bilateral relationships, trade and investment ties, marked the culmination of the historic forum held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from 1 to 3 September, which, for the first time, brought together the private and public sectors of Africa and the Caribbean.
Key among the signings was the Partnership Agreement between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and seven Caribbean countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname. – This partnership agreement sets the platform for increasing trade and investment ties between the two regions and sets a framework for cooperation to promote and finance south south trade between African countries and Caribbean countries.
A Trade and Investment Agreement signed between Afreximbank and the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) will see the deployment of a $250-million Trade and Investment Finance Promotion Programme aimed at mobilizing trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean in collaboration with CBB and local banks in Barbados. Afreximbank will work with CBB to promote its instruments of intervention with public and private enterprises to provide financing to Caribbean entities to grow the volumes of trade and investment and to promote knowledge sharing between Africa and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) through technical cooperation, research and joint events.
Other agreements signed include a US$150-million Revolving Import Finance Facility Agreement between Afreximbank and MRS Oil & Gas for the importation of refined products, exportation of crude oil, as well as crude oil vs refined products swaps, and pre-delivery of petroleum against crude allocations; a US$10-million Letter of Credit Issuance Facility Term Sheet with Woodhall Capital Limited to finance the procurement of refined petroleum products for supply to the international oil companies operating in Nigeria; and a 16.56-billion Naira Dual Tranche Facility Term Sheet with Ganic Foods Limited for the construction of a 500TPD soyabean solvent extraction plant, 300TPD soya and palm kernel oils refinery and 400TPD palm kernel expellers in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
The Forum also witnessed the signing of an MoU Establishing the Africa Caribbean Business Council. Entered into by Afreximbank, the Africa Business Council and the Caribbean Private Sector Organisation, the MoU is aimed at private sector cooperation and joint action pursuant to the deepening of business, trade, investment and people relations among the private sector and people of CARICOM and the African Union. It will establish the Africa Caribbean Business Council as a formal, structured mechanism for substantive and effective cooperation between the parties in pursuit of the shared objective of strengthening the private sector’s participation in the sustainable development of both CARICOM and AU Member States.
An MOU between Afreximbank and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation seeks to facilitate their collaboration in establishing working arrangements necessary for the delivery of sustainable financing for the proposed Exim Bank of Barbados, while another MoU between Afreximbank and the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) aims to provide a framework of cooperation for supporting the promotion of trade, investment and economic development through Afreximbank within Africa and CAB and its members by strengthening their mutual capacities, exchange of information and knowledge, and by enhancing trade information and cross-border payments within and between Africa and the Caribbean.
Afreximbank also signed an MoU with the International Trade Centre to continue their collaboration in harmonizing efforts for the promotion of trade and economic development, while the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation signed an MOU for the promotion of trade and export cooperation between them.
A final MoU among the Barbados Investment Development Corporation, the Ghana Union of Trade Association and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry will promote and strengthen the expansion of trade, economic ties and contacts between the business communities of Ghana and Barbados on cooperation and mutual benefit.
ACTIF2022 was 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. It was co-managed by Invest Barbados and Export Barbados. Further details about the Forum are available at here.