Barbados will host the inaugural Global Supply Chain Forum from May 21 to May 24, 2024, in the capital city of Bridgetown.
The event, organized by UNCTAD and the Government of Barbados, aims to bring together government officials, business leaders, and experts to discuss strategies for promoting development through sustainable and resilient transport and logistics, enhanced connectivity, and trade facilitation.
Government officials, business leaders and experts will convene in Bridgetown to explore how best to promote development through sustainable and resilient transport and logistics, improved connectivity and trade facilitation. Key issues for discussion at the forum will include digitalization, food security, transport costs, climate change, developing countries’ financing needs and how to better manage the energy transition in international transport. Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan emphasized the importance of making shipping and supply chains more efficient, resilient, and environmentally friendly to address global crises effectively. Barbados’ Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Matthew Wilson, highlighted the significance of resilient supply chains in managing the ongoing impact of global crises. He expressed optimism that the forum would provide a platform for countries to collaborate on solutions that support climate change adaptation, food security, and economic growth.
The event will focus on identifying policy actions necessary to prepare countries, particularly developing economies, for future shocks to global supply chains. It follows a call by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley during the 15th UNCTAD ministerial conference to build resilient supply chains in developing countries, as underscored by the Bridgetown Covenant adopted at the conference. Additionally, the forum will feature a Supply Chain Innovation Challenge aimed at inspiring innovative solutions to make global production and distribution networks greener, more efficient, and resilient. Interested participants can submit their proposals between January 17 and March 17, with the winning proposal to be presented at the forum.
Jan Hoffmann, head of trade logistics at UNCTAD, stressed the importance of supply chains in driving global trade and the world economy. However, he noted that recent years have seen these supply chains increasingly threatened by global crises, making it essential to focus on policy actions to better prepare countries, especially developing economies, for future shocks.
The four-day event will be held in-person, with selected sessions streamed online.
Interested partners and stakeholders from the public and private sectors are invited to express their interest in participating in, sponsoring or contributing to the event.