A contingent of 21 investment promotion officials from the Caribbean recently ended what has been described as a successful study tour of Investment Prmotion Intermediaries in Brazil and Chile, including APEX-Brazil and PROCHILE. The officials represented 14 Investment Promotions Agencies (IPAs) that are members of the CAIPA.

The study tour was aimed at garnering best practices on investment and trade promotions from the IPAs and Trade Promotions Agencies in Latin America; increasing the visibility of the region as an ideal location for investments and beginning the process of developing strong relationships between CAIPA members and key agencies in Brazil and Chile, with a view to generating inward investments.

During the tour, CAIPA members held discussions with key public and private sector organisations that are critical to facilitating inward and outward investments in Brazil and Chile, the two of the strongest emerging economies in South America. 

These discussions bore fruit as relationships were established among key partners in Brazil, Chile and CAIPA. These relations are expected to lead to profitable business and investment opportunities in the near future.

The tour was also successful from the perspective of sharing knowledge. The members of the public and private sector who hosted the contingent expressed delight with CAIPA’s initiative to visit their countries to garner best practices and learn from their experiences.

“We would love to increase our trade and investment relationship with your region but do not know your countries well enough. Therefore, your mission is an excellent first step in the right direction,” was the general statement expressed by the hosts.

The mission was led by the President of CAIPA, Mr. Lestroy Samuel who is also Executive Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) and was organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) as CAIPA’s  Secretariat with the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce of Curacao and PROCHILE. 

In Brazil, the contingent visited federal government agencies in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. Visiting APEX Brazil, the Brazilian investment promotion agency, was a highlight given that the agency has received the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) award for best practices in investment promotions and currently holds the Presidency of the World Association of Investment Promotions (WAIPA).

The delegates also met Mr. Fabio Marzano, Head of the Department of Trade and Investment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil who indicated that his government was willing to help advance Brazil-Caribbean relations.

The agenda also included meetings with representatives from Invest Sao Paulo, the Sao Paolo Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Industries, during which the Caribbean IPAs learnt more about the Brazilian economy and firms. The CAIPA representatives also used the opportunity to present the region as a profitable prospective destination for investments. As a result, proposals were made for forging formal partnerships aimed at establishing business forums; there was also exchange of information regarding investment opportunities in the Caribbean and prospective Brazilian investors.

In Chile, the CAIPA delegation discussed Chile’s trade and investment promotion strategy with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, His Excellency, Minister Alfredo Moreno. Chile has been internationally recognized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and The Economist as the most investment friendly country in Latin-America and the Caribbean.

The agenda for Chile also included a visit to PROCHILE, Chile’s national export and investment promotions agency, which gave a presentation on the export-led investment strategies and general promotional initiatives. The other events were a meeting with Chile’s Foreign Investment Committee and Development Corporation (CORFO) which featured presentations on business environment and investment facilitation processes and mechanisms in Chile and a tour of “Fundación Chile” where CAIPA’s members gained information on Chile’s national branding strategy and its efficient model for innovation and incubation of businesses and ideas.

CAIPA and its Chilean counterparts identified knowledge transfer, internships, sector linkages and the establishment of direct contacts between private sector investors as areas for cooperation.