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PM Pierre to attend Afreximbank annual meetings and AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum – Caribbean News Global

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Prime Minister, Philip J. Pierre travelled to Nassau, Commonwealth of The Bahamas to participate in the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) and the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF), the Office of the Prime Minister, (OPM) announced, in a press release Monday.”

These events are scheduled to take place from June 12-15, 2024. In the prime minister’s absence, deputy prime minister Ernest Hilaire will act as prime minister and minister for finance, economic development, and the youth economy and minister for justice and national security.

“The AAM and ACTIF are a joint effort by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the African Union (AU), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Africa Business Council, and the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO). Organized under the AfriCaribbean Business Council, the initiative aims to strengthen economic ties and foster investment opportunities between Africa and the Caribbean.”

This year’s annual meetings will focus on the theme “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa” and will include the launch of the Afreximbank 2024 Trade Report, plenary sessions addressing macroeconomic crises, economic transformation, and industrial transformation, and the AFREXIMFEST. These events will provide a platform for leaders from both the public and private sectors to engage in high-level discussions on key trade and investment issues.

AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) set to strengthen Africa-CARICOM linkages

According to the OPM: “The prime minister’s participation underscores the importance of these meetings and his commitment to enhancing trade and investment links between our region and Africa. On June 13, 2024, the prime minister will deliver remarks at the Presidential Plenary on the theme “United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Building Alliances for Shared Prosperity.” The theme highlights the critical need for unity and collaboration in creating a resilient and prosperous economy amidst global challenges.

Saint Lucia is among the pioneering countries in the region to join African Export-Import Bank, securing a loan of USD 6 million to fund the repair and renovation of our schools.

Meanwhile, the OPM underlined that “Local businesses and the private sector confirm they’re doing better under the Pierre-led administration,” citing “An independent business performance survey conducted by the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture [that] provides irrefutable evidence of a strong economy and encouraging growth in the private sector.”

  • 77 percent of businesses said sales for Q4 2023 were higher than Q4 2022;
  • 68 percent of businesses expect profits to increase in 2024;
  • 45 percent of businesses plan to boost investment in 2024;
  • 35 percent of businesses increased their workforce in Q4 2023.

Last year, unemployment decreased to a record low of 14 percent nationally, and hiring trends in 2024 look promising – 32 percent of businesses plan to hire more staff in Q1 2024.

The government says its strategic fiscal policies helped to subdue domestic inflation reducing it from 6.4 percent to 4.1 percent in 2023.

“This year, the government will introduce new legislation offering special incentives to attract and facilitate Mega-Investment Projects in Saint Lucia. The government is actively pursuing investment projects that will sustainably grow our economy, improve our infrastructure and provide good-paying jobs for Saint Lucians,” the OPM concludes.

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