Barbados to host Global Supply Chain Forum

Barbados will host the inaugural Global Supply Chain Forum from May 21 to 24 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

The island 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 helping developing countries to prepare for the energy transition in international transport.

“We have begun to look at the way in which we can restructure our supply chains with the war in the 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,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds.

There are more challenges in the form of rising shipping costs, the Red Sea crisis, 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, said a release.

Symmonds said food security and the Caribbean’s heavy reliance on food importation from and through the United States was top of mind.

“Supply chains with countries like Suriname and Guyana, especially with respect to food is very important for us as a backstop that we traditionally rely on with regard to the United States of America,” he 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 discussion 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.” (PR/SAT)

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