Caricom chairman and president Chan Santokhi has reminded his audience that sitting still and hoping for the best is not an option. Further in his speech he said that the world is changing and that we are faced with existential challenges. In which there is a struggle to provide stable and sustainable lives and futures for our people.
Santokhi is in Bridgetown, Barbados for the Afri-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum. The Caribbean offers great and profitable areas for economic cooperation. The existing and projected oil and gas industry offers promising investment opportunities for African countries. Santokhi has invited investors and tourists to visit Suriname.
The Caricom chairman pointed out that in addition to political cooperation and business, it is important to strengthen people-to-people ties. According to him, these ties will form the basis of a valuable collaboration. Santokhi believes in the power of cooperation. Because as an individual it will not be possible to achieve the long-standing goal of peace, security and prosperity, but together it can be achieved. Therefore national and regional sentiments in this forum needed to be set aside and to be United so that success can be reached.
According to Santokhi, it is important that Caribbean and African countries do not see each other as competitors, but as development and business partners. However, broadening cooperation must take into account global developments and geopolitics. Market expansion, joint investments, strategic and economic cooperation in the areas of food and water security, climate finance and energy are possible areas of cooperation.
The call from the Caricom chairman, the Caribbean and African countries is for them to become strategic partners and ensure that financial flows are channeled into their respective areas. In order to create effective and functional joint investment and trade frameworks, they must facilitate and steer this process.