On 11-12 July 2013, Caribbean Export Development Agency, in collaboration with the Regional Investment Promotion Steering Committee will be convening a Regional Investment Promotion Stakeholders’ Forum, which will be held at the Radisson Aquatica Resort in Barbados.
The Forum will focus attention on the development of a Regional Investment Promotion Strategy (RIPS) and Implementation Plan. The development of the Strategy will be guided by stakeholders at the national and CARIFORUM regional levels. The Forum will seek to firstly present the findings of two studies, commissioned by Caribbean Export, that are in advanced stages of completion, namely an Investor Perception Survey for CARIFORUM and Benchmarking Investment Incentives in CARIFORUM Countries with those of Major Competitors. Comments and feedback from stakeholders regarding the draft Reports will lead to the refinement of the final documents but most importantly, the relevant information from these studies will assist in guiding the development of the RIPS.
The challenge that the RIPS will seek to address relates to the positioning of the Caribbean as an ideal location for investment. Site selection firms have noted that investors tend to have a regional perspective, comparing regional investment offerings, prior to narrowing their focus to individual nation states within a selected region. This is primarily so when investors are market seeking and/or resource seeking as is the case with many of the investment projects that flow into the region.
The Forum will also aim to present information on good practices in regional investment promotion, highlight investment challenges facing the region and solicit feedback on the challenges to the region’s investment climate that can be addressed at a regional level through collaborative efforts.
The benefits of a regional investment promotion strategy include, among others: increased visibility of the region and member countries; greater investor attention to the region, because of a larger market; and a regional approach encourages regional production hubs and regional production networks.
The Regional Investment Promotion Steering Committee is chaired by Professor Alvin Wint, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and includes representatives from regional bodies such as the CARICOM Secretariat and CARIFORUM Directorate, the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, the Caribbean Development Bank, OECS Secretariat, the Caribbean Congress of Labour, the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange, the Caribbean Shipping Association, Caribbean Association of Industry & Commerce (CAIC), the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation (CARILEC) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
Funding for the activities of the Committee is provided by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme that is managed by Caribbean Export.