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Caricom countries pleased with Saudi investment forum Netheader:

Caricom countries pleased with Saudi investment forum Netheader:

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CARIBBEAN Community (Caricom) countries say their participation in the first-ever Saudi-Caribbean Investment Forum, which ended here last week, provided an opportunity for them to connect to large regional and international investment markets.

The forum, held in partnership with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), brought together investment leaders from the public and private sectors from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Caribbean to discuss investment opportunities and developments in priority investment sectors.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Investment, Bader Al-Badr, said during the forum that the development of the tourism sector will play a key role in implementing the national investment strategy and achieving the goals of Vision 2030.

“And we look forward to continuing to build relations between the Kingdom and the Caribbean in the coming years.”

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett used the opportunity to call for the implementation of a single use visa for visitors, reiterating that partnership and the implementation of a multi-destination tourism framework, are necessary to boost the recovery of tourism in the Caribbean.

Bartlett stressed that “as individual island states, our recovery from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic will be elongated if not near impossible,” adding however that “there is enormous capacity for the region to collaborate and market the Caribbean as a single destination.”

He noted also that that the future of Caribbean tourism is “intricately bound in finding a convergence of marketing and product arrangements combined with air travel and transportation logistics.”

Among other things, Bartlett suggested that “harmonising a number of protocols, including a single visa regime that will allow for ease of movement across borders for tourist purposes, will make the collaboration and recovery possible.”

The Jamaica Tourism Minister said also that this will “enable multiple experiences throughout the region for visitors to our islands who travel from new markets including Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

He said that Jamaica and the Dominican Republic Thursday concluded the first phase of the multi destination discussion process holding discussions with the Association of Hotels and Tourism of Dominican Republic as well as representatives of “a number of airlines that have interest in enabling connectivity.”

Bartlett also met with the Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al Khateeb regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was previously signed by both parties concerning air connectivity.”

Bartlett said that through the MOU, Al Khateeb will “coordinate the mega airlines in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area to meet with a delegation from the Caribbean who are prepared to advance multi-destination tourism as a critical pathway for air connectivity through the gateways of the Middle East.”

The chief executive officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (GOI), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop said the Saudi Caribbean Investment Forum, currently was timely as it connected Guyana and other Caricom nations to large investment markets.

Ramsaroop, who led a Guyanese delegation to the forum where several local companies from the construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, and tourism sectors, showcased investment-ready projects to Saudi investors, said “bridging stronger ties to the region has significant benefits to Guyana”.

Ramsaroop in his presentation highlighted potential areas for investment opportunities in Guyana, including in national projects, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and information and communications technology.

—CMC

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