First Global Supply Chain Forum To Be Held In Barbados

 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, discusses the upcoming Global Supply Chain Forum to be held in Barbados May 21 – 24, 2024. (Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade)

Four-day high-level conference in Barbados to tackle global supply chain crisis.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, has signalled that history will be made when Barbados hosts the first Global Supply Chain Forum from May 21 to 24 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

The Government of Barbados has partnered with the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development [UNCTAD] to stage the four-day, high-level event.

The Global Supply Chain Forum will bring stakeholders together to address financing, sustainable and resilient transport and logistics, trade facilitation, connectivity, digitalisation, food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and help developing countries to prepare for the energy transition in international transport.

Minister Symmonds explained: “We have begun to look at the way in which we can restructure our supply chains. With the war in Ukraine, the cost of energy, petroleum products, gas and diesel have gone up. It makes it very difficult therefore for industry here to operate because we are still very heavily dependent on importing our fossil fuels.”

Global supply chains continue to face challenges intensified by rising shipping costs; the Red Sea crisis; the war in Ukraine and disruptions to crucial trade corridors, the Panama Canal, and the Suez Canal. Supply chains serve an undeniably crucial role in the global economy. Those countries which stand to feel the brunt hardest are small island developing states, like Barbados.

The Minister emphasised that food security and the Caribbean’s heavy reliance on food importation from and through the United States is top of mind.

“Supply chains with countries like Suriname and Guyana, especially with respect to food, are very important for us as a backstop that we traditionally rely on with regards to the United States of America.”

Minister Symmonds added: ”That type of changing of the traditional dependency is a vital part of it (the Global Supply Chain Forum), and those are the types of discussions which we need to have; it doesn’t happen overnight. We have to have the maritime or the marine ability to move goods from country to country within this region.”

Author: Public Relations


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