The second annual Antigua and Barbuda- United Kingdom Business Forum ended on Friday 11th November, 2022 with a joint consumer event with the Tourism Authority in Leicester. Leicester is home to the largest Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora outside of London.
The event included a showcase which displayed the various products of the Antiguan and Barbudan companies that came to the United Kingdom for the Business Forum and gave the Leicester diaspora and wider community a chance to sample their various products.
The event was co-ordinated with Leicester national Nijah Paul who worked tirelessly on the event.
The evening also included performances from Leicester based musicians as well as the popular Spirited Band and renowned pannist, Khan Cordice, who gave a brief history of pan to the attentive audience.
There was also an engaging conversation with three of the four cricketing knights of Antigua and Barbuda – Sir Andy Roberts, Sir Richie Richardson (Dr) and Sir Curtly Ambrose.
The Honourable E.P. Chet Greene Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade delivered welcome remarks in the presence of the Lord Mayor Councillor George Cole and Mayoress Cole of Leicester.
In his remarks, the Minister commended the organisers for their hard work on a very successful week.
He remarked that it was always great to see the large and positive support of the Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora to the work of the High Commission and the Tourism Authority and he commended Director Cherrie Osborne and High Commissioner Hill and their respective teams for another successful collaboration.
He encouraged all the exhibitors to make use of every opportunity to get their products into the UK market and pledged the full support of the Government.
In addition to the showcase in Leicester, the week-long series of events included roundtables on the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement (the “EPA”) and logistics on accessing the UK market.
Exhibitors were also the guests of the Tourism Authority at the World Travel Market and an ‘Experience Antigua and Barbuda’ Consumer Expo at the Bultmore Hotel Mayfair. Business to Business Meetings were also set up for the exhibitors to connect directly with UK businesses.
Two special side events were also held during the week. The first event was the London Screening of the Antigua and Barbuda Environmental Awareness Group’s documentary “Redonda: The Road to Recovery”.
The second event was the launch of the book, “The Adventures of a Black Edwardian Scholar: The Story of James Arthur Harley” written by historian and Fellow of the Royal Society of the
Arts Pamela Roberts.. The book tells the story of Antiguan James Arthur Harley who was an intellectual polymath who served as a politician, reverend, and scholar.
Nine businesses participated in the Forum – Grannie Annie Pepper Sauce, Neem Avenue, Crispa Chips, Shell Beach Sea Food Company, Sarafina Savoury Caribbean Pudding, 2SIX8 Craft Brewery, Antigua Distillery Ltd., Miss Ellie’s Stuffed Dumplings and BWC Enterprises.
Several public and private sector partners have contributed to making the Forum possible. The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the law firm Georgiev, Todorov & Co., the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, the UK Department for International Trade, Caribbean Export, the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the British High Commission St. John’s.
Plans for the 2023 business forum are already in progress.