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Caribbean Investment Forum to build: ‘A Bold New Caribbean’

  • Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 (CIF 2023) gets underway in Nassau, Bahamas
  • Over 500 business delegates from 40 countries are at CIF 2023 to learn about regional projects
  • Renewable Energy, ICT, AgTech, and Logistics and Transport are CIF’s main investment focus

THE BAHAMAS / BARBADOS – Transforming the Caribbean into a region that leverages the talents of its people and attracts investment into innovative business projects is the aim of the Caribbean Investment Forum 2023 (CIF 2023), officially got underway Tuesday 24 October in Nassau, The Bahamas.

CIF 2023 envisions “a bold new Caribbean” where key sectors such as agriculture technology, renewable energy, information and communication technology, and logistics and transport lead the sustainable development of regional economies, create greener, smarter jobs, and secure a brighter future for the next generation.

Hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and its partners, CIF 2023 has attracted over 500 delegates from 40 countries. These attendees represent a wide cross-section of global decision-makers from within the public and private sector who are looking to invest in the Caribbean as well as network and connect with regional innovators, business owners, and entrepreneurs.

In his feature address on the official opening day, entitled ‘Spotlighting the Caribbean for Investment’, deputy prime minister of The Bahamas, Chester Cooper, told a packed conference room that the Forum was “a great opportunity” for the entire region to work better together.

Cooper stated: “In a world marked by constant change and challenges, it is only by collaboration as a united Caribbean family, that we can realise our full potential…Economic development is at the heart of our collective aspirations. The Caribbean region is rich in resources both natural and human and we possess the ingredients for our further economic prosperity, however, our true potential can only be unlocked when we work together. By banding together we can form a formidable economic force.”

Cooper shared the Bahamian government’s enthusiasm for the potential of the Forum to put the Caribbean at the forefront of the worldwide business community.

He said: “Forums like this are critical to get us all on the same page of how to collaborate and how to engage cross-sector and cross-border investments throughout our region. We have the opportunity to leverage this initiative and work as a united front to create jobs, increase trade, and raise the standard of living for our people.”

One of the highlights of day one was the keynote presentation of Paul Ahlstrom, managing director of Alta Ventures on leveraging artificial intelligence for economic development. During his presentation he drew a striking parallel between data and oil, underscoring the immense value of data in today’s digital age. Just as oil fuelled the industrial revolution, data powers the information economy and offers substantial economic and societal benefits when effectively collected, processed, and analyzed.

Further, Ahlstrom highlighted the pivotal role of data engineering in optimizing data utilization through processes like collection, cleaning, transformation, and integration. Ahlstrom stated “Innovation is the driving force behind economic growth. The Caribbean has the potential to be at the forefront of innovation, and this forum is a platform for exploring the possibilities.” He also provided practical examples that showcased data’s application in solving real-world challenges, emphasizing the essential role of imagination and creativity in leveraging its potential.

CIF 2023 is being held at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau. It features top-level presentations, panel discussions, ‘Investment Villages’, and exclusive side events. The Forum’s dynamic agenda covers various hot topics such as Artificial Intelligence, financing in the post-COVID Caribbean, and the Renewable Energy revolution.

Speakers include managing director, Goldman Sachs Sustainability Banking Group, John Eleoterio, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group, Aaron Bielenburg, and founding managing Partner at Celesta Capital, Dr Nicholas Brathwaite.

This is the second staging of the Caribbean Investment Forum.

This year’s event is organised by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the government of The Bahamas, CARICOM, the Caribbean Development Bank, and with the support of several regional sponsors as well as the European Union’s Global Gateway Initiative.



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