The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) and PRONicaragua, organized and executed a study tour to PRONicaragua in Managua, Nicaragua from March 18-20, 2014.

PRONicaragua has been recognized by the World Bank in 2012 as the leading investment promotion agency (IPA) in the world and the study tour was organized with a view to learning from them best practices in investment promotion and facilitation.

The study tour brought together 24 representatives from ten of the region’s investment promotion agencies, who were able to see first-hand how a leading IPA manages their investor facilitation, inquiry handling systems and procedures; as well as how they are structured, human resource operations including the internal incentives used by PRONicagura to promote the professional excellence required to secure investment.

In 2013, Caribbean Export, CAIPA and the World Bank provided training to the Caribbean IPAs on investor facilitation and this study tour builds upon the initial foundation through exposing the participants to the best practices executed by PRONicaragua.  Supporting Caribbean IPAs to improve investor facilitation services is an effort to ultimately contribute towards an increase in investment flows to the region.

The three day study tour also focused attention on the quality control measures that PRONicaragua has put in place to ensure a quality response and inquiry handling to the ‘mystery inquiries’ used by the World Bank to evaluate investment promotion agencies, the results of which are published in the Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking report (GIPB). In addition the delegation visited the National Free Trade Zone Commission and companies operating in free trade zones to gain a better understanding on how special economic zones work. 

One of Caribbean Export’s objectives is to strengthen Caribbean IPAs in order to increase foreign direct investment in the region.  Supporting this mission falls within the framework of the EU-funded 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme, which includes the Bi-National Haiti/Dominican Republic Programme. Caribbean Export is committed to supporting the reinforcement of the capacities of the institutions responsible for the investment promotion in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and is collaborating with both countries in the development of a Joint Investment Promotion Strategy.

Participating IPAs included: Centro de Exportación e Inversión de la República Dominicana (CEI-RD), Centre de Facilitation d’Investissement Haïti (CFI), Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO), St. Kitts Investment Promotion Authority (SKIPA), Invest St. Lucia, Invest St. Vincent and the Grenadines (InvestSVG), Invest Trinidad & Tobago (InvestTT), Investment and Development Corporation Suriname, Cayman Islands Department of Commerce and Investment, and the Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao.