Press Releases

IFC and Partners Commit to Stimulating Economic Growth in the Caribbean

In Lima:
Clara Ugarte Perrin
Phone: +511 611 2501

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.

About IFC
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