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Nov 21, 2013

Promoting regional economic growth through F.D.I.s

Representatives from nineteen countries that make up CAIPA are currently meeting in Belize. The organization promotes foreign direct investment in the region and at its current annual general meeting it is banking that economic growth in the region will be stimulated by the private sector. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The fourth Annual CAIPA General Assembly, held under the theme ‘Towards an Enhanced Foreign Direct Investment Strategy: Strengthening our Foundation and Honoring Regional Excellence’, commenced today with participation from Investment Promotion Agencies across the Caribbean.  Addressing the gathering was a panel of IPA officials, including Michael Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade and Investment for the Government of Belize.  Melanie Gideon is the Deputy Executive Director of BELTRAIDE.

 

Melanie Gideon, Deputy Exec. Dir., BELTRAIDE

Melanie Gideon

“The purpose of the annual general meeting, like any other one, is a recap of the previous year’s activity and setting the strategy for the next few years as well.  So we’re taking that opportunity to refocus where we want to go.  We have gotten funding from the European Development Fund, so it’s basically streamlining what we’re going to do strategically because, like Michael Singh said earlier, we have a lot of things to do, little money to do it with and that’s no excuse to get the job done.”

 

That sentiment was also echoed by Ronald Theodore, president of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA).  The shared objective, said Theodore, can be achieved by member countries working together to build capacity through training and research development.

 

Ronald Theodore

Ronald Theodore, President, CAIPA

“The main role of CAIPA is to promote the region as an investment destination.  We want to be clear that working together works.  So, for instance, things like capacity building, looking at training and looking at research and development.  So there are certain key things that we can do together and will benefit all of us and so meeting here we will chart the way forward to plan for 2014 so we could all benefit.  And I just want to emphasize that working together works, so the nineteen member states coming together, right, we benefit from the economies of scale and we intend to move in that direction.”

 

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) plays an integral role in utilizing donor funding in aiding the growth of the private sector within the region and was represented at the meeting by Chris McNair.  According to McNair, CAIPA, has to take a critical look at its future since its financial resources, supported under the tenth Economic Development Fund by the European Union, comes to an end in 2015.

 

Chris McNair

Chris McNair, Caribbean Export Development Agency

“Our role essentially is to utilize donor funding and other funding to see how we can actually help the private sector grow in the region.  We feel that growth that is needed in the Caribbean should come from the private sector, can come from the private sector and our role is to see how we can work with the private sector to see how we can achieve that growth.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now in terms of what is to be discussed today, I know you guys have an agenda that’s filled with topics and other pertinent issues.  What are some of the main things coming out that you expect to come out of today’s agenda?”

 

Chris McNair

“For me the most important thing is going to be a strategic direction for CAIPA.  CAIPA has come from a very far place.  In 2007, it was a very loose organization.  Today we have nineteen members.  So the idea of where are we going, what is that vision is very, very important for us right now and more importantly how do we sustain the organization.”

 

The recognition and promotion of a Regional Investor of the Year will be held tonight at the Radisson, as part of the two-day AGM. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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2 Responses for “Promoting regional economic growth through F.D.I.s”

  1. boh says:

    GOB, wake up and put some flight direct flight europe and you’ll see how many investor will come from the private sector

  2. Dr. Margaret Noguera, MD says:

    Wow…I am truly amazed at all these meetings and stating where the funding is from!!! As for Belize, we have very serious issues to resolve in terms of What is our Development Strategy? We must move closer to our Latin Economies to integrate products and systems of production ranging from Human Resource to Market Ready products and begin to really DO business of trading with Central America, Latin American and Mexico.

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