Barbados is set to become the first small island state to host the UNCTAD’s Trade Assembly.
The announcement was made this afternoon by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who said the country would co-chair the international event with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It is slated to take place in October 2020.
Mottley said the United Arab Emirates would host the World Investment Forum which is usually held along with the Assembly.
However, she said because of the magnitude of that event, Barbados did not have the financial or physical infrastructure to host it.
As a result she said they would co-chair the Assembly in Barbados with the UAE, as well as the Investment Forum which would be held in the UAE.
Describing it as a “massive achievement” Mottley said it would also put Barbados at the centre of trade and development negotiations internationally.
“I’m happy to report to the people of Barbados that after some serious efforts over the course of the last two months or so and after putting in a bid within the last month, the Government of Barbados has been recommended by the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD [the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development] for us to be able to host the 15th quadrennial conference of UNCTAD’s Trade Assembly and the companion events that go with it – the World Creativity Forum and the World Youth Forum,” she revealed during a press conference in the Grace Adams Suite at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
“This has been a major achievement…and Barbados will be the first small state to ever host this Assembly and it is a major, major, major achievement for us.
“This is a massive undertaking, but it is one that we feel we are more than capable of doing. The real benefit is not just in the tourism encounter itself, but is also in the fact that we will chair the next round for the next four years and we will be at the centre of trade and development negotiations globally which will help us begin to expand the possibilities because small states and countries like ours have been suffering over the course of the last decade with respect to the constricture of policy space,” Mottley maintained.
The Prime Minister said the event would see 3500 delegates coming to the island.
However, she said, while it was an historic achievement for Barbados, it was one which required a national effort to ensure all systems were on go for the start of the assembly.
“Being able to host the UNCTAD quadrennial Assembly is a major achievement. We are going to need all of Barbados to help us to do it and I’m confident we can do it because that’s our business.
“Tourism is our business and we know how to treat people so we have to make sure therefore that we prepare ourselves and prepare the country,” the Prime Minister said.
Mottley said the UN National Assembly was slated to confirm Barbados’ role as host in September.