The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), organized and executed a study tour to Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaica’s trade and investment promotion agency, in Kingston, Jamaica between 10-12 June 2014. Seven regional investment promotion (IP) professionals, representing four investment promotion agencies (IPAs) who are members of CAIPA participated in the event. The IPAs were from Haiti, St. Lucia, the Cayman Islands and Curacao.
“I think that we are off to a really good start with our efforts to promote the regional exchange of best practices”, notes Ronald Theodore, President of CAIPA. In April, CAIPA members also participated in a regional study tour to ProNicaragua in Managua, Nicaragua. “Our aim is to ensure that the capacity of regional IPAs is enhanced through our learning from each other so that together we can increase FDI to the region”.
JAMPRO has been recognised for its good investment promotion practices, with the most recent accolade from UNCTAD for successfully promoting export-oriented foreign direct investment (FDI).
Presentations from JAMPRO on Aftercare services, planning and executing an investment forum 101 and defining an IP organisational structure were critical for the IPAs participating. In particular, the event proved beneficial to this group of IPAs who are in the process of redesigning and defining their own organisational structure to increase effectiveness and increase their understanding of how to support investors once they’ve decided to invest.
The participants were also taken on a tour of Sutherland Global and Red Stripe’s manufacturing plant to highlight the ways that business linkages between a foreign investor and home-grown (local) firms could be encouraged.
Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of Caribbean Export notes that “This initiative continues our work at Caribbean Export to support the strengthening of regional IPAs through CAIPA and to encourage the sharing of information on regional good practices”. She notes that “We (as a region), tend to know more about what is happening outside the region and more-so in the developed world, when sometimes the answers we seek are right here at home.”
Caribbean Export supports this work with funding that has been provided by the European Union within the framework of the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme, which includes the Bi-National Haiti/Dominican Republic Programme.
Participating IPAs included: Centre de Facilitation d’Investissement Haïti (CFI), Invest St. Lucia, Cayman Islands Department of Commerce and Investment and the Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao (which has recently launched its IPA, CINEX).