UNCTAD - Press Conference: Presentation of the Global Supply Chain Forum 2024 - 20 March 2024
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UNCTAD - Press Conference: Presentation of the Global Supply Chain Forum 2024 - 20 March 2024

In recent years, global supply chains have been disrupted by crises such as climate change, as shown by the drought affecting the Panama Canal, geopolitical tensions as in the Red Sea and the Black Sea, and energy shortages, as well as the COVId19 pandemic. Supply chain disruptions increase the prices of goods, experience has shown.

Government officials, business leaders and experts at the forum will examine issues such as digitalization, food security, transport costs, climate change, developing countries' financing needs and how to better manage the energy transition in international transport.



  • Matthew Wilson, Ambassador of Barbados to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva (from Geneva)
  • Pedro Manuel Moreno, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary General (from Geneva)
  • Ambassador Donna Forde, Director General of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (from Barbados)
Good afternoon
to those joining us in Geneva and good morning to
those joining us from Barbados and journalists who are
following this press conference from around the world.
We are today here from Geneva and from Barbados,
launching the
presenting the Global Supply Chain Forum
which is organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
and the Government of Barbados and which will take place in May in Bridgetown,
We are joined by the
Deputy Secretary General Mr
Ambassador Matthew Wilson, permanent representative of Barbados to the UN
WTO and other international organisations here in Geneva
and Ambassador Donna Ford in Barbados,
Director General of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
of the Government of Barbados,
journalists here in the Room in Geneva in Barbados and online Welcome.
We're also joined by Bell Holder, who co ordinates a
lot of the media and communications for the Global Supply Chain Forum
and who will be co chairing this press conference with me.
Having said that, I would like a first from us
to share
the video that explains the importance of this global supply chain forum
gives entrance to this press conference.
If we can please share the video with attendance
21st to 24 May in Bridgetown, Barbados.
and the government of Barbados will organise the first UN global supply chain.
Transport and logistics are the backbones of globalisation.
They link global supply chains and deliver global trade.
Global supply chains,
supported by sustainable and resilient transport and logistics,
can foster economic growth, job creation
and poverty reduction.
Yet extreme weather events, geopolitical risks,
capacity shortages,
high shipping costs,
trade tensions,
the global pandemic
and the sustainability imperative pose challenges for the sector.
Small island developing states are hit the hardest,
while a disruption causing a rise in container shipping
costs can increase global consumer prices by 1.6%.
The surge is five times higher for small island developing states.
Small island developing states have limited capacity to prepare,
respond and adapt.
Other vulnerable economies, such as landlocked developing countries,
face similar challenges
that limit their possibilities to integrate global and regional supply chains.
It's time to change that narrative.
At the forum policy maker,
industry leaders and practitioners will discuss innovative solutions to tackle
transport and logistics challenges and harness opportunities for sustainable,
inclusive and resilient supply chains.
through innovative solutions, international collaboration,
public private partnerships and sharing of best practises.
Global supply chains help deliver not only goods
globally but also the UN sustainable development goals
Ready to embark on this journey.
Join us at the UNCTAD Global Supply Chain Forum.
Thank you very much.
I now give the floor to the Deputy Secretary General of
Pedro Manuel
Moreno. The floor is your
Thank you, Amalia. Uh welcome, everybody.
Uh, Your Excellency And dear, very dear friend Matthew Wilson,
Ambassador of Barbados to the United Nations in Geneva. Ambassador Dona for
the, uh,
director general of Foreign Affairs and Foreign
Trade of Barbados joining us online.
Uh, dear friends there in Barbados too. I see Carlos over there
and Bell. Uh, thank you also for for joining us today.
Uh, the members of the media. Uh uh Ladies, gentlemen
Dear friends,
it is my pleasure to welcome you to the press briefing for the first
anti global supply chain forum that will be held in Barbados this year.
We are organising this forum to deal with an issue that affects us all.
How to foster resilient and sustainable global supply chains.
Global supply chains have been experiencing major disruptions
and new challenges keep arising.
The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented shock to supply chains,
triggering a steep decline
in trade and shortages of essential goods.
Thanks to an enormous effort on trade facilitation,
including many digital solutions, ports could remain open
and trade could be moving.
However, in some developing countries, access to
and now how on digital solutions are a challenge.
On top of this, recent geopolitical tensions have disrupted
major trade routes such as those in the Black Sea and, more recently, the Red Sea.
And then there is climate change,
taking a heavy toll on trade routes.
For example,
the Panama Canal is facing issues of water
scarcity in the wake of the climate crisis.
The biggest challenge for maritime transport for
the coming decades is the energy transition.
Shipping must decarbonize, and this is costly
decarbonizing the world's fleet by 2050 could
cost between 8 to $28 billion annually.
Small island developing states, including Barbados, are particularly affected
by these challenges.
They depend heavily on maritime transport,
but have fewer resources to mitigate and adapt.
Also, higher shipping costs affect these countries disproportionately.
These countries then require support
and the international community knows it.
This forum then aims precisely at finding
sustainable solutions to these challenges and identify opportunities.
The good news is that many practical solutions already exist to facilitate trade,
modernised ports,
adapt transport infrastructure
and build resilience in maritime transport.
But a big challenge is funding and currently funding gaps are big.
And this is something that the government of Barbados through
the Prime Minister Motley has been advocating for in in many,
many international forum.
We have been collaborating with the
International Maritime Organisation on understanding how
economic measures such as levy could
support developing countries and special seats
to address capacity gaps. An
A has supported countries with technical
co-operation programmes on customs automation,
port reforms, trade facilitation, e-commerce and maritime transport.
We should also keep in mind that
the energy transition will bring new opportunities.
Some countries may become providers or hubs of alternative fuels
to help find new solutions on making global production
and distribution networks greener and more efficient and resilient.
We have launched a Supply chain Innovation Challenge
whose winner will be presented at the Forum.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
the Global Supply Chain Forum in Barbados offers a
platform to discuss the multifaceted challenges of global supply chains
and identify concrete actions to improve their functioning
and sustainability.
This requires dialogue,
engagement and collaboration of all critical partners along supply chains,
including member states, governmental bodies,
the private sector and international organisations.
We are very pleased
that the forum counts with key partners in global supply chains.
We have already more than 100 partners confirmed
and we can count already confirmed on the participation of the heads of Imo,
the association, the Association of Caribbean States
and the Global Maritime Forum, just to name a few
and importantly,
ministers of transport will deliberate on a ministerial declaration which can
then feed into the fourth International
Conference on Small Island Developing states
in Antigua and Barbuda. AL also
this year
before handing back to the moderator.
I want to thank the Honourable Minister Simons and the government of Barbados and
all the team represented in this press
briefing represented here in Geneva by Ambassador Wilson
for hosting the forum and collaborating with us
in organising this important event and for being
one of our main partners and advocates of a NTA and the work we do.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much for your words. To the
Deputy Secretary General.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Matthew Wilson,
permanent representative of Barbados, to the UN
WTO and other international organisations in Geneva.
Please, Ambassador, The floor is yours.
Thank you. Thank you, Amelia. And thank you, Deputy Secretary General.
My my dear friend Pedro,
and a warm welcome to my colleagues in Cologne
Road in Barbados
in particular, Director General Ford.
It's a pleasure to speak to international journalists
and the Beijing journalists in beautiful Barbados.
as many of you know,
Barbados became the first small island developing state to host a global
A conference when we served the hosts as out of
AD 15.
Unfortunately, that was held in the middle of the pandemic.
And although we were not able to get together in person
the way we anticipated,
the meeting had a number of fundamental outcomes
and recommendations.
And one of these key recommendations, as reflected in the Bridgetown Covenant,
was that we needed to place a spotlight on supply chains and importantly
where they were simply not working effectively.
Another major call from
T AD 15
was that we needed to see AC T A
as an organisation, do more for small island development states
in a comprehensive, clear and concise way.
This is where we very much welcome
is, in the process of establishing a
dedicated sits programme and platform,
including a trust fund.
This has been a concrete outcome of Barbados's advocacy and influence,
and I send warm regards to Secretary General Rebecca Greenspan for very much being a
great pilot of this initiative.
So these two priorities addressing global supply chains
and focusing on small island states have come together beautifully in this forum.
The facts are clear.
Small countries do not control the supply chains,
and we are the most vulnerable to many
of the issues that actually disrupt supply chains,
unpredictable climate,
lack of production capacity, high indebtedness, small remote markets,
lack of modern infrastructure and processes, including at ports,
and often very limited influence on those who
are the main influencers of the supply chains,
large governments and businesses.
The reality is, is that we're often price takers,
product takers
and policy takers.
This places us in incredibly vulnerable situations.
We saw this during Covid when we were often at the back of the line
to get vaccines or PPP S.
And we see this when there are disruptions to roots,
as we've seen in the Red Sea and the Panama Canal.
As prices of our imported goods immediately go up, fuel prices go up,
animal feed prices go up
on the situation. The Red Sea is getting worse.
So the idea of having this forum, which came directly from Prime Minister Motley,
has foreshadowed where we are today
in a state of heightened vulnerability,
again with threats of near shoring.
Because of the increased risk and cost of shipping,
it will be small and remote. Island economies,
LDCs and other vulnerable countries which will suffer
supply chains today barely extend to us now.
Shorter chains may cut us off completely,
and this also affects our ability to invest in climate change adaptation.
But sometimes we simply cannot access the new
technology and inputs that we need to truly invest
in the circular economy.
We need fairness,
and to do this, we need advocacy
and we need pathways to solutions that bring all actors to the table.
The Global Supply Chain Forum provides a platform for this advocacy
and for solutions
sits, including Barbados can tell the story.
We can educate and we can elaborate.
Transport ministers can address how new rules and regulations
around decarbonisation needs to work for small economies.
Poor authorities can highlight what kinds of partnerships
are needed to help them truly facilitate trade.
Agriculture representatives can pitch for
why food security relies on predictable
and cost effective supply chains that allow both for smooth importation
and exportation.
And trade officials can highlight why trade rules
are effective for healthy supply chains.
But this forum has to be more than just lamenting concerns.
The focus has to be about finding solutions
and scalable and workable solutions.
This is why I'm so excited about the kinds of partners
that we will have in Barbados,
experts in the field who want to find a way to make supply chains work for SIDS
and other vulnerable countries.
Now we will not solve all of our problems in May in Barbados,
but we will go a long way in spotlighting what we need,
where we need to go
and how we may be able to get there through partnerships
and shared advocacy,
and through this incredible relationship and collaboration
And the United Nations family.
Thank you, Amelia.
Thank you very much. Ambassador Matthew Wilson.
We would like now to give the floor to Barbados
to Ambassador.
Donna Ford,
Director General of Foreign Affairs and foreign
trade in the government of Barbados.
Ambassador, the floor is yours.
Thank you. Good morning.
Um, Mr Pedro Manuel Moreno,
Deputy Secretary general of the United Nations. Uh,
concentrate and development
by friend brother Matthew, Ambassador Wilson,
permanent representative of Barbados to the United Nations,
the WTO and other international organisations in Geneva.
Ms. Shamika
T a the Technology and Logistics division
Mr. Jan Hoffman, head of the logistics section
Representatives of the media
in Barbados with us and globally. Ladies and gentlemen,
I am Donna Ford, Director General of foreign affairs and foreign Trade.
And let me start by apologising for the absence of honour Honourable Kerri Simmons,
the senior minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and foreign trade
here in Barbados. The national budget is currently being debated in Parliament
and so senior minister is attending to his parliamentary responsibilities.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Foreign trade to the media launch of the Global Supply Chain Forum
under the theme Transport Logistics Trade Facilitation
for Trade Driven Development,
which will be held here in Barbados
at the Lloyd Erskine Sandyford Centre,
21st to the 24th of May 2024.
We are pleased to have reached today's milestone
and to launch the global supply chain forum with
This is the first time that
C AD will be organising a high level forum
dedicated to global supply chains.
And we are honoured that it will be Barbados hosting the first event
and that which we understand,
will become one of the uncapped flagship gatherings going forward.
The government of Barbados is indeed delighted to host the forum, which is a direct
which is a direct response to a request from Prime Minister the Honourable Mia
in her capacity as president
and presiding chairperson of
a 15.
Some may recall
that Barbados was, as Matthew pointed out,
the first small island developing state to host um M
A's quadrennial conference,
and it was during that event
that the prime minister
had asked Secretary General Greenspan
to pay attention to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
as well as the climate crisis on the cost of shipping and logistics.
On that occasion,
Prime Minister Motley was concerned
that disruptions to supply chains would increase the cost of doing business
negatively and negatively affect access to essential goods
and lead to increased prices for consumers.
We are grateful that the secretary general and UT a
heeded prime minister's visionary and timely call
to pay attention to this very important matter of global supply chains
that this particular event forms. Part of
Sad's 60th birthday celebrations in 2024
makes it even more special.
Global supply chains are fundamental to the smooth operation
of international trade and commerce,
air and maritime transportation,
port management,
logistics, courier services and warehousing
all form part of global supply chains,
and a breakdown or disruption to any link or node
can affect all others on the train on the chain.
Small island developing states are dependent on
international trade for economic and sustainable development.
Given their limited resource endowments,
SIDS are heavily reliant on supply chains
to ensure businesses and citizens have access to the required goods and services.
Whether we are talking about exports or access to inputs from manufacturing,
tourism energy consumption,
access to food and other essential goods,
medicines and other medical supplies, construction materials and equipment,
access to stationary and sporting goods. We depend on supply chains for every
facet of our daily lives.
We believe
that the Global Supply Chain forum
is being hosted at an important point in history.
Supply chains are still not fully recovered
from the disruptions experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic,
as we see from the news,
they are further exacerbated
due to the conflict and geopolitical tensions in the Black Sea and the Red Sea
accidents in the Suez Canal
as well as the climate crisis. In the case of the Panama Canal,
maritime transportation
accounts for around 80% of international trade,
and disruptions to that sector
will undermine the economic recovery achieved thus
far in the post pandemic period.
UT a recently published a report highlighting the impact of these disruptions,
including the reduction in container transits
and a significant rise in container freight rates by as much as $500.
They have also advised that these disruptions can result in delayed deliveries,
higher costs
and could negatively affect access to energy products
as well as the food security of developing countries.
July 2022 Statistics
that the impact of the supply chain
crisis led to significantly higher consumer prices
perceives relative to world prices
and for S,
increases of import and consumer prices
stood at 26.7%
and 8.1% respectively,
as compared to corresponding price increases for the world
which stood at only 11.9 and 1.6%.
These statistics are worrisome for SIDS
and by extension, all developing countries.
Given the potential inflationary effects these disruptions could cause,
while multinational companies have scale and global reach
to minimise the impact these disruptions may cause,
many micro, small and medium sized enterprises in
do not have such capacity to confirm
these inflationary
if not managed properly,
this conference of disruptions
could directly influence our ability
to sustain economic growth,
maintain our standards of living
and achieve our sustainable development goals.
As an island state,
Barbados is also concerned
about the impact of the climate crisis on our port infrastructure
under the bridge tongue initiative.
We have been calling for the international finance community
to create the appropriate conditions
to enable small island developing states
to access the necessary capital to protect
and where necessary,
we build our port and trade related infrastructure.
We are therefore pleased
that the global Supply chain forum
will pay particular attention
to the issue of unlocking sustainable financing in
respect of innovations for global supply chains.
For the government of Barbados,
improving how we facilitate international trade and commerce
at our borders is a key objective.
Barbados remains committed
to the implementation of the WTO trade facilitation Agreement
and is continuously seeking
to improve and modernise the conduct of business at our ports of entry.
For instance,
Barbados has updated its
ayuda platform
and, with the help of
is in the process of establishing an electronic single window
to further reduce the length of time taken
to process cargo
related documentation.
We are pleased that um
A and the WTO
will host dedicated sessions
specifically for representatives of national trade facilitation committees
to inter
area, provide updates,
share experiences and explore avenues for improved Cooper operation.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I must reiterate our government satisfaction
that UN
a as the main UN body
responsible for trade and development,
will host this first global Supply chain forum here in Barbados.
This is a recognition
that while trade and development is a global issue,
there must be space to protect the most vulnerable
and those of us dependent on international trade for development.
We look forward to welcoming colleague
welcoming ministers, senior officials
as well as representatives from international organisations,
private sector,
academia and civil society to our shores
to collectively take part of this important global event
and to enjoy the hospitality that our beautiful island offers.
The agenda of the forum covers a wide range of topics
related to global supply chains
that are of importance to us,
maritime decarbonisation
and implications for fishing vessels
on locking sustainable financing innovations for global supply chains,
digital solutions for supply chains
leading the way to sustainable ports through energy transition,
implementing Blockchain technology and global supply chains,
climate change adaptation,
building and disaster risk reduction for ports,
the nexus between transportation, energy and food security,
and efficient and competitive port management.
AC AD will also convene
a high level CS Transport ministerial round table on global supply chain chains
where transport ministers from a number of small island developing states
will be given the opportunity to engage in dialogue
on the impact of supply chain disruptions on SS,
We anticipate that the outcome of the forum
will include a declaration or statement
that sets out the nature of the problems affecting global supply chains,
the key solutions to addressing current challenges
and the role of UT a and by extension, the UN system
in addressing the development challenges associated with global supply chains.
The timing of the forum is also helpful from the
perspective that it immediately precedes
the fourth International Seats Conference
and the outputs of the forum should support the deliberations that
will take place at that conference in Antigua and Barbuda.
In closing
permit me to publicly thank the UN
A secretary general and the staff of UN T
for the efforts being put into the hosting of the Global Supply chain conference
and more generally for their ongoing support to SIDS and to Barbados.
We believe
that your efforts post
on T AD 15
and in about your efforts
for um
A 15 and indeed for this forum are consistent with the
implementation of the Bridgetown Covenant and the spirit of spite Stone.
I would also wish to place on record
our especial gratitude to some of our key partners
who agree to either support or participate in the forum,
including the World Trade Organisation,
the United Nations Resident Coordinator
and other United Nations agencies covering Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean,
the Inter American Development Bank,
the Caribbean Development Bank,
the International Maritime Organisation,
the Caribbean Export Development Agency,
the Caribbean Community,
the Association of Carib
the Andean Development Fund,
the Caricom Private Sector Organisation
and Export Barbados.
I wish to thank our colleagues from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,
including Matthew in Geneva,
Carlos and and Kay in Barbados,
uh, Deidre,
and Jackie
from the National Implementation Unit. Of course Bell
for her efforts for arranging this launch and for the continued
efforts towards the successful hosting of the global supply chain forum.
I thank you,
thank you very much. Ambassador Donna Ford from Barbados.
We will now like to open up the press conference to questions
from the media both in Barbados online and here in Geneva.
And I would like to give the floor to co ordinate to my colleague Bell Holder in
Barbados Thank you, Bell.
Thank you, Amalia.
Um, we can take a question, uh,
from the floor in Geneva if you have anyone there who's ready to ask a question.
No, we think Barbados should go first.
So happy to yield the floor to you and to colleagues in Barbados.
Thank you.
And, um, as Amalia said, we've opened the floor to our journalists in Barbados.
Do you have any questions?
And your questions, uh, can be posed to any of the speakers from this morning.
But also, we do have Mr Carlos Walton here, who is the national
with the National Implementation Unit
and online in Geneva. We also have Ian
you guys who are dealing with the logistics of the global supply
chain for So your questions are open to those individuals as well.
You mentioned that at least one
I'm sorry. Can you identify?
Um, your me, your name, your media house, and speak a little louder, please.
Um, it
was, uh,
confirmed. Um, their attendance
there are gonna be 100 people coming here or is it groups, um,
made up of different representatives? Like, how many persons can we expect to see.
So in terms of attendees, uh, Mr Warhol, would you like to say that question?
So the question being asked So, um,
so that our colleagues in Geneva can hear the question.
Um, we had Anne
Henry from the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation,
which is our national broadcaster.
And the question she is asking is,
how many persons can we expect here in Barbados for the global supply chain,
for I think she's also asking both from, uh,
a participation in terms of speakers and also the attendees, Mr.
All right. Thanks for the question. Um,
state we have over 300 persons register
in terms of, um, speakers identified the numbers around 96 persons,
and that's not excluding
persons like the prime minister or other, um,
ministers that would have been invited to participate.
Um, we also have, um a number of international organisations that are confirmed.
And, um,
the numbers that I'm seeing at about 12 heads of international organisations
um, slated to attend
the meeting at some point in time.
So, um,
I can say around definitely over 100 in terms of speakers identified and so on
and in terms of, uh, registrants. We have over 300 already in
the system.
Thank you, Mister Wharton. Um, any other questions from the floor here in Barbados,
Uh, call
national news.
Uh, in terms of being solutions, solution oriented. Um,
I'm trying to still try to grasp, like, what is the,
uh, the hope,
uh, that we hope to achieve
in terms of a solution going
forward? Because these issues,
uh, that are
gonna tough
as the rest of my chin,
to some degree, are pretty much cast in stone.
I mean,
the economies of scale remain the same regardless
of what climate issues in the Switzer Now,
uh, still starting,
um, the war within at
what exactly are we hoping,
uh, to to to kind of try to achieve in terms of an actual solution,
uh, for for such a major
major issues.
You know, in this business,
the solutions are
easily obtained.
It's a long slog,
One step at a time. You have to take to be able to achieve any success
in trade and development space.
The major important milestone is the fact that
that is taking the time and the attention to focus on global supply chains
that is dedicated UN body responsible for
trade and development and is absolutely critical
that at the core of the system,
the United Nations has a say on how global supply chains are to operate.
So from my perspective,
the success of this form is the fact that it's actually being held.
We understand that other developing countries are interested in holding follow
up forms because of the recognition of the direct impact,
such as disruptions up on social
and your economic development.
in the near future, I don't expect any
miraculous solution.
But what I do expect is that
a will continue to take on board the views of smaller and developing states.
And first, the Folk International Assist Conference,
which time stamp wise is an extremely important location for sits
But more importantly,
thereafter that these issues affecting global supply
chains and specifically sits in that regard
are constantly dealt with within the
the organs of
including the Trade and Development Board.
So, um, I know it's not a sexy topic for media house people,
but ultimately it is essential that these topics remain on the global agenda
to make sure that we do get the food that is required to eat
and that we have the necessary equipment and tools to do our business.
Thank you, Mister Wharton.
We, uh we can also take questions from our online attendees.
If you have any journalists or media online who can, uh,
raise their hand and ask a question as well, Coming back to, um,
from CDC.
sorry. Um,
Well, we've been
collaborating with the BHD
A. And, um,
we do know is that, um
that has a select set of hotels that they will be working directly with.
But then there's also another, you
catchment of hotels that have been
identified as recommended places of state
the side
chain disruption on invasion rates, for C
and for developed countries.
Are we doing the work specifically to get
the impact
in terms of invasion rates?
How do we compare to
6% that was given
I don't have the car fit this data. The only data I had was on
that data
and its security.
So you're talking about rates for seats that are significantly higher than for, uh,
you know, developing countries or to the rest of the world,
and this is because size matters in this in in. In this context,
we don't have skill to produce on our own.
And therefore, no matter what we do,
whether it's on the importing side of the
equation or the exporting side of the equation,
we rely on international shipping, for instance,
to get access to the resources to produce the good
or to sell the good.
And therefore, uh,
dependence on international trade is real but smaller than developing states.
And, uh, it's it's no
cliche when we say we're small and open.
It's because our imports plus exports equals a significant amount of GDP.
That means everything that you do is required, you know, depends on trade to happen.
So this is why, for is important,
we are extremely happy that the United Nations has taken
time and the resources to focus on the faith.
And we do look forward to welcoming um,
the Secretary General and our team here to Barbados, uh, for the event.
And, um, if we can also thank you so much, Mister Warden.
And if we can also, uh, come to Geneva
and connect with Ambassador Matthew Wilson Can you weigh in on that particular
topic and go in terms of what, Miss? Add to what Mr Wharton is saying.
Thank you, Bill. And thank you to the journalist back home.
Now, I really want to reiterate what he said.
The whole idea of advocacy is already
an important outcome of this,
uh, for the past five or six months, we've been talking about this.
We've been able to retail what our problems are, what our issues are.
People are listening this incredible amount of interest
in the private sector in international organisations in academia
to come to Barbados to discuss these issues.
So already for me, for us up here, this is a big win
because we're putting something on the agenda that
would not naturally be on the agenda.
The priorities and the concerns of small island developing states.
The international system is an interesting one. It
is one seat, one country, one vote,
But often small island developing states have to fight for that seat.
We have to fight to have a voice.
And this forum is giving us a direct voice,
SIDS and other vulnerable countries and LDCs.
This is giving us an opportunity to tell our story,
to tell what it is we went through during covid to tell what it is we're
going through right now because of the geopolitical
problems that we're seeing in the Red Sea,
the issues with climate change that are affecting the Panama Canal.
This gives us an opportunity, a platform to talk about these things.
But I agree with you that the solutions are going to be are not going to be immediate.
So this is not about transforming supply chains immediately.
But this does give us an opportunity
to look at what new supply chains could be in our own region.
Because when you look at food insecurity
and the fact that I love the food that we import in Barbados
and the rest of the region actually comes from outside of the region,
this is an opportunity to pivot.
This is an opportunity to really invest in our own regional supply chains
and to make sure that we feed ourselves, you have to remember the 20 by 25. That car
has that by 2025 we should be able to have a certain an amount of, um,
an ability to feed ourselves um to have, uh,
a strength in our in our agriculture sector.
So it's also about looking at how can we look at
the region itself and be able to meet our own needs from our own need?
Our our our own, uh, neighbours, uh, under the, uh,
the the Caricom Single Market and and and Economy.
Thank you.
Thank you, Ambassador.
And, um, we are going to connect with Geneva online.
Um, Jan Hoffman, Um, who's handling, uh,
logistics for the global supply chain Forum.
Um, wanted to, um,
follow up on one of the questions that were asked here in the room. Mister Hoffman?
Yes, thank you very much on the
two last questions actually go very well together.
And Carlos and Matthew
answered very correctly about the impact and how different groups, including CS,
are particularly strongly impacted.
In fact, just last Friday,
we launched a revised updated line of shipping connectivity index hard
data on shipping supply.
We are also this month
launching a new data set and transport costs, and
because it's an
data I already have the data
and I can share with you that
sits effectively pay about 70% more than
than typically other country groups
for the transport of their imports,
which is confirmed again by our latest hard data and transport costs.
Landlocked countries also pay more for different reasons.
The shipping connectivity which over over the last
two decades where we have the hard data,
has been improving for most countries, but not for most CS.
this leads to the previous question about solutions
and and I am fully with Carlos and colleagues here. It is also about
raising the awareness issues,
being happy and proud and thanking Barbados for hosting
this and nudging us into doing this first global supply chain forum,
which then on the higher level, leads to input into the sits for conference in
one week later,
but also the landlord country conference in Rwanda.
The months thereafter and we really we are so proud.
We have more than 100 partners joining apart from the numbers of participants.
We said we have
the who is who in supply chains
and raising the level is one important thing.
But actually, when I go through
through the more than 50
specific technical sessions,
we will have key stakeholders working
together on competition issues on digitalization
on Decarbonisation.
As Pedro said,
The main challenge for the future of the industry is the energy transition,
and we will have these stakeholders together to
work together to ensure an equitable transition.
We will have sessions with different partners technology, single window
green ports, port resilience, customs, automation.
There's a long list of actually quite concrete outcomes where we
also bring a number of projects with partners World Bank Imo
different private sector.
Several projects come there. And
so beyond this,
which may be more difficult to transmit to journalists to the audience.
Like we raise the level awareness of this more
and more important topic after covid Red Sea,
Black Sea,
the climate change all these issues.
But it's actually we actually expect quite a few concrete outcomes.
So please join us for raising them
and having concrete outcomes. Thank you.
Thank you so much. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr Hoffman.
I see there is a hand raised online. Julie Wright.
If you can give the floor to Julie Wright, who is a journalist attending online?
Uh, hi there. Yes. Jillie Wright from Global Finance magazine.
Um, I'd just like to ask what efforts are being made to address.
Uh, multilateral financial institution financing design flaws.
Um, do you think, for example, that, uh, switching financing tied to
gross national income to a more multidimensional vulnerability index would
perhaps benefit the development of SIDS ports and logistical infrastructure?
Mhm. All right.
And, uh, who will be, uh, tackling the answer to that question To Julie's question,
Global Finance Magazine.
Can we have a response to Jilly's
question from Global Finance magazine?
Thank you. Thank you, Bell.
Just a few comments on my side before I hand over to Jan and then maybe back to Barbados
is a very,
very important question because one of the issues
that many small island development states have faced
throughout our development trajectory has been accessing
the finance that we need from the international financial institutions.
And this is at the very core of the Bridge Down initiative,
which says we need to look at the financial
ecosystem to see Is it really fit for purpose?
Is it really working for those who need the finance? The most
GDP per capita is not an appropriate mechanism to use
to allow countries to access or not to access financing.
So this is why the multi vulnerability index is a very interesting construct.
I mean,
it is something that we have been working
with other Caricom states and Pacific states for
many, many years now,
Um and you know, but the devil is in the detail. We have to see exactly what this multi
dimensional vulnerability index would look like, exactly how it works,
because the worst thing that could happen happen
is that we invest in a new tool that doesn't do what we need it to do.
And what we need it to do is to be able to
allow small countries like us to be able to access resources,
especially grant resources from the international financial institutions.
We also need to look at issues around
risk. And this is with commercial bikes as well.
We need to risk investments in small and
medium sized enterprises and in projects in small
E in developing states. Part of that is about educating the banking system
in small
E in developing states,
and about looking at issues around collateral,
looking at issues around co operatives.
So it
is a huge value chain of of issues.
I think we have to look at here but you're completely correct in that.
One of the things that does have to change is
the mechanisms for small developing states being able to
access or not access the resources that we need,
especially for climate change, the circular economy and adaptation.
Thank you.
Thank you so much. Ambassador Wilson and, um, we're coming now to a a text question
from an independent journalist online. Who's asking? The question,
apart from the recently announced ferry service
between Guyana,
Suriname, Trinidad and Barbados, is carry com,
discussing other regional opportunities for transportation
to lessen the dependence on the global supply chain.
And, um, can I come to,
um, Ambassador Ford?
I repeat?
I'm gonna repeat the question.
So the question is, apart from the recently announced ferry service
between Guyana,
Suriname, Trinidad and Barbados is carry com,
discussing other regional opportunities for transportation to lessen
the dependence on the global supply chain.
I can answer briefly that coming out of
the carry com heads of government conference,
you know, it just
I could just answer very briefly
that regional transportation continues to be not only
a challenge but a priority for carry com governments
and, um we are. They're continuing to work on on solutions
for the challenges that we have.
We know that we know of the concerns with leat, and we know that a new,
um, a new venture
is about to come on stream anytime.
Um, I must confess, I don't have specifics,
but I know that the regional transport challenges,
um, continue to receive the attention of heads of government.
And? And, Carlos, you may have a dish
Um, what I wish to say is that for the forum,
we have received significant interest from the car
private sector organisation
as well as, um, the Caribbean Development Bank
and having specific sessions that will look at regional connectivity
as well as the impact of regional connectivity and, uh, food security.
So, um, as part of this forum, we're getting, um,
direct, uh, requests from the private sector and from the, uh,
development institutions
that we focused on on these topics.
So, um, we're happy that numerous sessions will be held,
um, on on transportation generally and food security as well.
All right. Thank you, Mister Wharton.
And if you have no more questions Do you have a question? Sorry. From the nation.
Go ahead.
Yes, just one more question. Uh
I know that
on that 15 just posted in the,
um that's a different forum, obviously from
what is coming up on the
supply chain
and another for
that, uh,
post it.
could you point,
uh, to any form of option from that last,
uh, last forum
that could assure the public,
uh, and and and
globally and locally,
uh, that the issue of implementation deficit would not necessarily
so much,
Um, in this upcoming
up the question before you answer the question
for the benefit of our colleagues in Geneva,
no I. I understand the question.
What's the main follow up things that we could point to post covid 50
that, um, we are proud of.
An ambassador mentioned it in his speech upfront,
where he recalled the,
uh, efforts that, um that has taken
post on
that 15 to support smaller than developing states.
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,
in very close collaboration with the Caricom Secretariat,
been working, uh, assiduously
on the preparation of a concept paper that elaborated the old idea of how um, a
should be able or should be, providing support to
its consistent with the British Stone Covenant.
This concept paper
morphed over the months into what is now being still the, um,
MT a strategy to support smaller and developing states.
Since that time, there's also been discussions in Geneva. Um, around
How then do we transform this strategy now into a
fable, you know, set of projects that would directly help it.
And in that regard, I know ambassadors working really hard
in establishing a trust fund,
uh, within of
to ensure that the resources are there to back up
the strategy that has been so eloquently developed by Theta
So for me, that is a huge win, because in the past
you had different pockets of funds and options and possibilities of assistance.
Now I can rest assured,
knowing that at least over the next 3 to 4 years, that there is a strategy
and that there will be resources to help, um,
that implement what they wish to do on behalf of it.
So I'm I'm a lot more comfortable in that regard Post on
5. 50.
All right. Thank you so much, Mr
Thank you for your question.
Um, I wanna say thank you so much to all of the, uh,
journalists here in the room in Barbados, those online as well as those in Geneva.
And to take this opportunity now to hand back to Amalia Navarro
in Geneva.
Thank you very much. Bell,
in closing this press conference,
let me just say that all the information
regarding the global supply chain forum is available on.org
on our website
and on the dedicated website of the supply chain forum itself.
The importance of the issue to
has been very recently highlighted by
in a recent report called Navigating Troubled Waters on the impact on global
trade of supply chain disruptions in the Red Sea in the Black Sea
and the Panama Canal, and we will be making available the latest data, as
has mentioned,
a press release will be made available to media at the end of this press conference,
as will
the video presenting the Global Supply chain forum.
And both teams in Geneva and in Barbados
are ready to support media as needed.
So, in closing, let me just again thank the Deputy Secretary General of
the Ambassador Matthew Wilson
and Ambassador Donna Ford and teams in Barbados
and Geneva. Thank you very much. And we finalise here. Thank you.