By Barbados Loop News
A Barbados delegation led by Dr William Duguid, Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, showcased a range of investment opportunities in Barbados at the first Saudi-Caribbean Investment Forum.
Other members of the delegation included Paula Byer, acting deputy permanent secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, Sandra Payne, deputy chief executive officer, Invest Barbados and Disa Lewis, foreign service officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The investment opportunities presented included hotel development, medical tourism, renewable energy, transportation, the blue economy, financial services, philanthropy and real estate opportunities, among others. The forum, themed “Towards a New Era of Partnership for Socio Economic Development” was held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from July 6 to 8.
Badr AlBadr, Deputy Minister for Investor Outreach of the Ministry of Investment for Saudi Arabia led the delegation from Saudi Arabia. His support team included Abdulrahman T Bakir, VP Investment Attraction and Development for the Americas.
Approximately 60 Saudi Arabian firms were present at the Forum and with interest in a wide cross-section of sectors including banking and finance, construction, energy, healthcare, food and beverages, hospitality, petrochemicals, pharmaceutical, mining and industry, wealth management and maritime, among others. Also participating from Saudia Arabia were several government entities including the General Authority for Foreign Trade, the Federation of the Saudi Chambers, the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi Development Fund, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Tourism.
The forum attracted approximately 230 delegates, with 14 Caribbean countries presenting their investment ready projects. Other presentations from the Caribbean were made by Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. A presentation was also made by El Salvador.
The nine Caribbean Ministers who participated in the productive and engaging forum represented the seven governments of Curacao, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic.
Commenting on the outcomes of the Forum, Senior Minister Duguid noted that he was “pleased with the caliber of investors attending the Forum, as well as their interest in investing in the Caribbean generally and in Barbados in particular”.
The Forum provided opportunities to strengthen Barbados’ relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to exchange knowledge in areas of best practice.
Senior Minister Duguid also pointed out that Barbados’ participation presented a “clear signal to global investors of government’s pro-business approach to welcoming businesses of substance and attracting sustainable foreign direct investment from new markets.”
The inaugural Saudi-Caribbean Investment Forum was a collaboration among the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, the Ministry of Investment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the investment promotion agency of the Dominican Republic, ProDominicana.