The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held the Regional Seminar for the Caribbean on ‘Facilitating Investment in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) projects: Spotlight on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)’ on November 26 to 28, 2019. This three-day peer-to-peer networking, dialogue and capacity building event is being facilitated in conjunction with the Annual General Assembly of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA). The seminar, organized in partnership with CAIPA and the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency, aims to ensure the successful implementation of investment projects relating to the SDGs. Experts from UNCTAD, best practice investment promotion agencies (IPAs), the private sector and investment stakeholders have shared experiences and potential strategies on how countries, specifically SIDS including Belize, can continue to mainstream the global 2030 Development Agenda towards meeting SDG targets through investment.

UNCTAD estimates that an investment of USD $3.9 trillion is needed on average each year from 2015 to 2030 to fully meet the 17 SDGs in developing countries alone. It also estimates that only about 36% of this investment need is being met by current public investment plans with the remaining USD $2.5 trillion per year representing a gap that the private sector could potentially help address. For this reason, the investment agencies of the Caribbean are assessing ways in which the private sector can better be involved in SDG support and implementation including specific strategies that can be used to promote the same. Key themes being covered at the Seminar include: SDG-related Investment Packaging in the Caribbean, Partnership Initiatives, the Role of Special Economic Zones, SDG Business Linkages, SDG Investment Financing, International Investment Agreements and other experiences in investment promotion and facilitation. Key sectors recommended by UNCTAD for investment targeting towards meeting the SDGs by 2030 include:

  1. Power
  2. Transport Infrastructure
  3. Telecommunications
  4. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
  5. Food and Agriculture
  6. Climate Change Mitigation
  7. Climate Change Adaptation
  8. Ecosystems and BioDiversity
  9. Health
  10. Education

Belize was represented at this Regional Seminar by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) by Mr. Hero Balani of BelizeINVEST, a unit of BELTRAIDE. The event was spearheaded by Mr. Paul Wessendorp, Chief, Investment Promotion Section at UNCTAD, Ms. Tessa Jacques, President of CAIPA, and Ms. Suzette Hudson of the CAIPA Secretariat. For additional information, kindly contact the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) via email at investment@belizeinvest.org.bz or at +501-822-3737.