News Release

CDB Strengthens Commitment to Sustainable Trade Logistics at Inaugural Global Supply Chain Forum

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Group of six persons including CDB Acting President standing in a row in front of Barbados signage

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) reaffirmed its commitment to building economic resilience and enhancing sustainable trade logistics through partnerships at the inaugural Global Supply Chain Forum. The event, which was hosted in Barbados from May 21-24, provided a vital platform for knowledge sharing, consensus building, and priority setting, and addressed the unique challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

CDB’s Acting President, Isaac Solomon, highlighted the importance of the Forum which aligned with CDB’s objectives, "Our participation in and support for the Forum raised awareness and understanding of trade logistics and its nexus with sustainable development, and in doing so, further highlighted the special attention required for SIDS and their heightened vulnerabilities.” A central focus of the Forum and for CDB was the vulnerability of the Region’s supply chains and the need for strategic solutions to minimise these disruptions on lives and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, CDB’s Acting Vice President of Operations, Therese Turner Jones, emphasised the strategic importance of the event. She indicated that "The Bank’s participation and focus remain ensuring inclusive, sustainable, and resilient Caribbean economies paying particular attention to our unique vulnerabilities. The Forum was a strategic investment for CDB to yield tangible benefits and an understanding of the challenges faced by the logistics sector to enhance trade-led growth in our client countries.”

At the Forum, participating Borrowing Member Countries and CDB representatives examined financing, connectivity, and policy issues, which impact the resilience of Caribbean and global logistics. This information fed into the Global Supply Chain 2024 Forum Declaration, an outcome document with concrete recommendations on actions to address supply chain challenges, which will be presented at the Fourth International Conference on SIDS in Antigua and Barbuda from May 27-30, 2024.

CDB’s Director of Economics, Ian Durant, underscored the Forum's and the Bank’s role in promoting knowledge exchange and innovation. "CDB as a regional enabler is keen to promote knowledge exchange, contribute to innovations, and the latest trends and developments in global supply chains. Through plenary sessions and active participation, the Bank has contributed to and advanced recommendations intended to stimulate trade, foster regional integration, and enhance trade competitiveness.”

The Bank co-hosted a panel on regional connectivity and services, in collaboration with the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This created a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and explore solutions for greater regional connectivity in the Caribbean.

As a sponsor of the Forum, alongside the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), UNCTAD, and the Government of Barbados, CDB facilitated connections for its 19 Borrowing Member Countries with key global stakeholders in transport, logistics, and trade, strengthening consensus, and prioritising actions on tackling supply chain issues. Global supply chains underpin economic activity and growth. They enable trade and are critical for maintaining economic stability and well‑functioning societies. They are also integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the development targets of our vulnerable regional economies.