Trade between Africa and the Caribbean could reach US$1.8 billion by 2028

According to a joint study by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), annual trade between Africa and the Caribbean could reach US$1.8 billion by 2028, more than double its current value.
This promising growth is conditional on the implementation of key measures such as reducing tariffs, improving logistics and promoting the processing of local value-added products.

The study, conducted as part of the “Strengthening Afro-Caribbean Trade and Investment” project, highlights the immense opportunities that exist between the two regions, underlining that current trade accounts for less than 3% of their total potential.

For Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank,

“The report confirms the vast Africa-Caribbean trade and investment opportunities that remain untapped. It provides a strong validation of Afreximbank’s Caribbean Strategy. With a project pipeline of $2.5 billion and an investment pipeline worth $1.5 billion, the Bank has demonstrated its commitment to realizing opportunities across the two regions. The productive collaboration between Afreximbank and ITC is a testament to this, as it aims to bridge the knowledge gap and build capacity among small and medium-sized enterprises, which are critical for the growth of Africa-Caribbean trade and investment.”

The most promising sectors to stimulate this growth are identified as travel and transport, minerals and metals, wood, paper, rubber, plastic, processed food and animal feed.

 “Small businesses can be among the first to drive and benefit from increased trade between these two regions, as they form the backbone of both African and Caribbean economies. There are huge growth opportunities if the right sectors are prioritized for development and investment.”

Said ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton

To remove trade barriers and fully exploit the economic potential between Africa and the Caribbean, the study recommends concrete actions such as:

  • Reducing tariffs, particularly on processed products, to stimulate local production and export diversification.
  • Improving logistics by simplifying administrative procedures and streamlining the flow of goods and information to reduce trade costs.
  • Implementing trade agreements to facilitate market access and harmonize regulations between the two regions.

The “Strengthening Afro-Caribbean Trade and Investment” project is part of a dynamic of strengthened cooperation between the ITC and Afreximbank. It builds on previous joint initiatives such as the “How to Export with the Free Trade Area” training program, the South Sudan National Export and Investment Strategy, the Pan-African Fashion Alliance and the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee Survey.

The ITC and Afreximbank study presents a promising vision of a significant increase in trade between Africa and the Caribbean by 2028. Achieving this potential will require joint efforts by governments, businesses and regional organizations to remove existing barriers and create an environment conducive to mutual economic prosperity.

With targeted actions and sustained collaboration, the goal of US$1.8 billion in annual trade by 2028 is within reach, promising a more dynamic and prosperous future for both regions.

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