Africa and Caribbean must tap into $1 billion in export potential — ITC report

Africa and Caribbean must tap into $1 billion in export potential — ITC report

A new report published by the International Trade Centre (ITC) last Thursday urges countries in Africa and the Caribbean to tap into the more than $1 billion in export potential between both regions.

ITC’s “Expanding African-Caribbean Trade“ report, released at the inaugural AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (AFCTIF) in Barbados, highlights partnerships such as between ITC and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are needed to tackle the economic consequences of global crises. Both ITC and Afreximbank extended their five-year partnership, which will help tackle trade barriers and build business capacity to realize that potential.

The report shows how the two regions have an export potential exceeding $1 billion in sectors ranging from agrifood and healthcare to tourism, fertilizers, and automobiles. The report argues that unlocking that potential requires stronger relationships between African and Caribbean traders, the removal of trade obstacles such as high tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and greater investment in growth areas. “A trade boost between Africa and the Caribbean is possible. It needs an ecosystem to give credible data on market opportunities, support to exporting firms, and guidance for governments,” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, ITC’s Executive Director.

The “Expanding African-Caribbean Trade“ report noted that the goods trade between the two regions is negligible and concentrated in just a few sectors including primary minerals and chemicals. With the right support in place, it concludes, Africa could boost its annual exports of merchandise to the Caribbean by $171 million by 2026, a 54% increase over 2020 levels. The Caribbean could expand goods exports to Africa by $80 million or 29%, and its export of services such as travel and transport even more.

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