Business

Caribbean IPAs to make investment opportunities more attractive to foreign investors

Friday, November 15, 2019

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The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in partnership with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) recently hosted a training workshop in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) focused on improving the quality of investment project information to make them more attractive to potential investors.

A release on Thursday noted that the five-day training workshop delivered by UNIDO, focused on enhancing the capacity of the investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to better identify investment opportunities, as well as to procure the formulation and appraisal of investment projects.

According to Dr Umesh Menon, UNIDO trainer at the workshop, developing countries are in need of upgrading their local skills and capabilities.

“The need of developing countries in upgrading local skills and capabilities in the preparation and appraisal of pre-investment studies, calls for appropriate capacity-building support, including adequate human resource development,” he said.

The 22 Caribbean participants from 16 Caribbean territories were trained in the use of the flagship software of UNIDO—Computer Model for Feasibility Analysis and Reporting (COMFAR III Expert- Basic Version). COMFAR facilitates the fast computation of financial statements needed for financial and economic appraisal of investment projects. The software can be used for small to large-scale projects, expansion, rehabilitation and modernisation of existing enterprises and joint ventures.

Commenting at the opening of the workshop, the junior minister for trade & economic development for the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Sharie B de Castro shared that “the BVI is in the process of establishing our trade and investment promotion agency. It is important to us to develop a core group of professionals who are well versed in investment project identification, preparation and appraisal. This will ultimately lead to well-planned investment projects and prudent investment decisions.”

Senior advisor in investment promotion at Caribbean Export added that the company is committed to enhancing the knowledge and skills of the IPAs of the Caribbean.

“This training forms part of a broader collaborative framework that CAIPA and UNIDO have established with the aim to provide investment monitoring and promotion support to IPAs in the region and strengthen regional investment promotion efforts,” she said.

The workshop was funded by the European Union via the 11th European Development Fund, Regional Private Sector Development Programme and the European Development Fund/Intra-ACP Private Sector Development Facilities and Programmes. Participating countries included: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union. Under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Export's mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic alliances.


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