Over US$502B needed annually for Caribbean to successfully achieve SDGs – Pres Ali

…as Caribbean Investment Forum opens in Guyana

The Caribbean must invest over US$502 billion annually to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, President Dr Irfaan Ali has said.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity.  According to the Head of State, of the required sum US$373 billion is needed annually for water and sanitation, US$256 billion for new infrastructure, US $90.6 billion to access safe drinking water and US $16.8 billion for sewer treatment.
Additionally, the region as a collective must invest US $140 billion towards safely managing sanitation, among others.


The Guyanese leader, who was at the addressing the opening of the third Caribbean Investment Forum at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), explained that the current financing gap presents an opportunity for the region to find innovative ways to increase investment through public-private partnerships.
“How do we mobilize capital? And what opportunities does this bring for public private partnerships for developing models that can work in the interest of achieving the SDGs but also can be profitable for the private sector. The days when we look at these things as investment only by the state is coming to and end. We have to deploy private capital and find the best model in deploying that capital to meet these financing gaps,” the Head of State emphasised.
Further, to provide universal access to electricity US$577 billion is required, and new infrastructure for this specific goal amounts to US $396 billion.
Moreover, infrastructure for transportation and logistics requires an annual investment of US $976 billion and of this sum US $310 billion should be allocated to roads, US $15.2 billion for airports, and US $222.4 billion for Urban Mass Transit Infrastructure.
President Ali noted that in closing the gaps, the region should prioritise building a robust financing system.
“In my humble opinion, as a region we have to develop a common platform on digitisation, financial services and financial integrity, leveraging our comparative advantage. Here in Guyana for example, we are looking at value creation and value addition, the development for example of prefab homes. So, we have to look at how we create high yielding open opportunities that answer the issue of resilience and sustainability,” President Ali added.
The 2024 Caribbean Investment Forum will run from July 10 to 12, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
As this year’s host country, President Ali said Guyana plans to center discussions on crucial topics such as sustainable agriculture, transitioning to a green economy, and the digitalization of business operations.
In this regard, agriculture and food security are high on the list, along with the target of achieving cheaper energy by 2025 to facilitate large-scale agro-processing and sustainable farming.
The conference also aims to provide a platform for businesses to showcase their development plans and projects to potential investors, given that another key objective of the forum is to foster joint ventures and partnerships, particularly in sectors like tourism, to enhance collaboration and product offerings.
Guyana Times understands that an average of 400 to 700 bankable investors from the region are attending the event, which includes an exposition for local private companies. (G1)