Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago,
September 2, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering
with Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis to promote a
more dynamic business environment and generate opportunities for small
businesses in the Caribbean. This initiative is supported by the Canadian
International Development Agency.
According to the World Bank Group’s
Doing Business 2010 report, the Caribbean island states of Grenada,
St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia implemented reforms in the areas measured
by the report for the first time in 2009.
The governments of Dominica, Grenada,
St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis have shown a commitment to modernizing
their investment climates; however, the Caribbean region could still make
further progress. Starting a business in these four countries is
four times more expensive on average than in Jamaica, the best-performing
English-speaking Caribbean country. It takes twice as long to open
a business in the Caribbean than the average time in countries of the Organization
for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“We see positive signs that the Caribbean
is advancing its reform pace to improve the region’s competitiveness and
attractiveness as a business-friendly investment destination,” said Mary
Porter Peschka, IFC Regional Head of Advisory Services in Latin America
and the Caribbean.
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is
collaborating in this effort with IFC and CIDA to develop a more efficient
and transparent business regulatory system that leads to larger-scale investments
and supports business and trade-friendly environments.
Since its founding in 1956, IFC has
committed $1.25 billion in the Caribbean’s private sector. IFC’s
strategy seeks to generate additional sources of income and investments
for local economies and strengthen private sector competitiveness to stimulate
economic growth and job creation. IFC supports private sector participation
in infrastructure and helps local companies expand within and beyond the
Caribbean region. IFC also supports the financial sector to promote
access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income
individuals. Generating sustainable growth and leveraging comparative
advantages are at the forefront of IFC’s strategy.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty
and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses
employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital
from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable
development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments
climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit