The Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) has been awarded $1 Million USD by the Inter-America Development Bank (IDB) under a Regional Public Goods (RPG) Programme to execute a number of projects over the next two years geared towards increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), who is also the Secretariat for CAIPA, UN ECLAC and the IDB convened a meeting together with approximately 20 representatives from the Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in the Caribbean and in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, on July 8, 2014 to discuss and agree on a methodology for the development of a Caribbean database on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects-one of the key projects to be executed with the funds provided by the IDB.

From left to right: Ms. Diane Quarless, Director of ECLAC’s Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean; Ms. Suzette Hudson, Snr. Advisor, Investment Promotion, Caribbean Export, Mr. Ronald Theodore, President, CAIPA; Ms. Racquel Moses, President, InvesTT

This was the first in a series of projects to be undertaken through the kind support of theIDB. The creation of a FDI projects database  is a response to the need for increased access to information on FDI flows into the region and more specifically data on the number of jobs created, the sectors into which these investments are being channelled and the types of incentives being offered. “Given the extensive use of FDI incentives in the region, the establishment of reliable and adequate sources of information on FDI will contribute to the debate on the effectiveness of these incentives,” notes Ms. Diane Quarless Director of ECLAC’s Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean in the opening session of the day’s activities on 8 July.

Participants were also advised of the support services offered by CARTAC to members seeking to improve their external statistics and were made aware of the current aggregate data published by the CARICOM Secretariat’s Regional Statistics Unit. Technical assistance for the development of this project is being provided by UN ECLAC and participants were introduced to global good practices in FDI projects data collection and monitoring. Mr. Olaf de Groot and Mr. Miguel Perez of UN ECLAC also highlighted a possible mechanism that could be used by CAIPA for the development of the Caribbean repository.

Mr. Ronald Theodore, President of CAIPA indicated that he expects “The publication of data on FDI projects into the Caribbean will increase the attractiveness of the region to potential investors.” In this regard, the database is being positioned as a tool for investment promotion.

“Caribbean Export is pleased to be associated with an initiative that seeks to provide answers to the need for detailed data on FDI into the region. We are also very pleased that this is a collaborative effort at the regional level with CAIPA, the IDB, ECLAC, CARICOM Secretariat and at the national level with the IPAs and hopefully in the future with the national statistics offices and the central banks. With this data, it is easier to promote the Caribbean for investment and develop strategies to improve the attractiveness of the region to investors,” notes Ms. Pamela Coke Hamilton, Executive Director of Caribbean Export.

Under the RPG other projects include the build-out of an investment opportunities atlas for the Caribbean, providing information on the projects and sectors in the region that are ready for investment, the development of an intra-regional investment programme, the procurement of a client relationship management system for the region’s IPAs and good practices missions to expose the IPAs to improved methods of investment promotion.

The event brought together delegates from the IPAs of Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname. Also present were Ms. Abiola Sandiford of the CARICOM Secretariat’s Statistics Unit, Mr. Chandar Henry of CARTAC, Ms. Diane Quarless, Mr. Olaf de Groot and Mr. Miguel Perez of UN ECLAC.