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World Bank Group Helps Caribbean Investment Promotion Centers Strengthen Skills and Systems


Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC
Phone: +511 611 2501
E-mail:
Cugarteperrin@ifc.org

Mark Thomas, JAMPRO
Phone: +1 (876) 978-7755
E-mail: mthomas@jamprocorp.com

Dixie Rampersad, CAIPA
Phone: +1 (246) 436-0578
E-mail : drampersad@carib-export.com


Kingston, Jamaica, October 20, 2010—The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group is helping 14 Caribbean nations attract greater foreign direct investment by upgrading skills and systems at their national investment promotion agencies and helping them improve their scores in the Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking 2011.

A potential investor has a 50 percent chance of getting a response when he calls a Caribbean investment promotion agency requesting information and assistance. The World Bank Group's 2009 Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking report found that 11 of 24 such project inquiries went unanswered during an assessment of the region. As a result, the investment promotion centers in the region scored poorly relative to those in Latin America.

From October 20 to October 22, about 25 public officers from Caribbean investment promotion agencies will attend a workshop to build their capacity for investment facilitation and develop institution-specific action plans for strengthening their inquiry-handling and upgrading their websites.  The workshop has been designed not only to transfer IFC's technical expertise and explore international best practices but also to promote regional cooperation.

Sancia Bennett-Templer, President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation, agrees said better investor services could help the Caribbean attract much more foreign direct investment. "The Caribbean has much to offer international markets and production chains, but we have to do a better job of marketing it," she said.

The workshop will bring together representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. The initiative is supported by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation, the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies and ProInvest, a partnership program developed and undertaken by the European Commission on behalf of several countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

"Small countries like those in the Caribbean cannot succeed alone," said Dixie Rampersad, Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies Senior Investment Promotion Advisor. "Only together we can create industrial clusters, attractive markets, and business networks needed to draw the levels which can bring lasting economic transformation. And, building that cooperation is an important function of the workshop."

About the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group helps governments implement reforms to improve their business environment, and encourage and retain investment, thus fostering competitive markets, growth and job creation. Funding is provided by the World Bank Group (IFC, MIGA, and the World Bank) and over fifteen donor partners working through the multidonor FIAS platform.