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
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.