Barbados has joined five other Caribbean countries to launch an online investment guide or iGuide with the support of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), and the European Union.
“The development of an iGuide is an effort to improve our region’s investment facilitation” informed Mr. Damie Sinanan, Manager for Competitiveness and Export Promotion at Caribbean Export. Caribbean Export serves as the Secretariat for CAIPA which is focused on attracting investment into the Caribbean and supporting regional investment promotion agencies.
The iGuides are a product of UNCTAD, which enables potential investors to discover investment opportunities, get a better understanding of a country´s business costs, key procedures, and laws, providing a range of useful information to support the decision-making process.
At the launch, Chief Executive Officer of Invest Barbados, Kay-Anne Brathwaite expressed, “We are confident that the launch of the Barbados iGuide site will augment the country’s efforts of making it easier for investors to do business in and with Barbados. We know that the iGuide represents best practice in the provision of information to investors and we anticipate that the iGuide will be a tool to attract more foreign investment in line with our developmental needs”.
Caribbean Export in cooperation with the EU and CAIPA has been working with UNCTAD to develop iGuides for Caribbean countries as part of an overall Regional Investment Promotion Strategy (RIPS). To date, they have supported the launch of iGuides in Jamaica, Curacao, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines thus far, with an iGuide previously existing in Antigua and Barbuda. This latest launch in Barbados brings the total number of Caribbean based iGuides to five and there are two more iGuides in development for St. Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos, while plans are in place to also include Trinidad and Tobago on the platform.
“The idea is not just to promote Barbados but to promote the whole Caribbean as a market for investment opportunities. And, if you can present the big market, which is the Caribbean, you would be much more successful in attracting investment,” shared Ian Richards, Economic Affairs Officer at UNCTAD.