PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten, as the newest member of Caribbean Investment Promotion Agency (CAIPA), attended its first official workshop in Costa Rica June 28-30.
CAIPA is a regional agency geared at promoting the islands of the region in an effort to attract legitimate foreign direct investment (FDI). St. Maarten was represented by Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (TEATT) senior policy advisor Jude Houston.
The workshop’s objective was for member countries to acquire first-hand knowledge of the approach of the Costa Rican Investment and Trade Development Board CINDE to attract foreign investors, and to interact with actual investors to ascertain what criteria they consider for investing in particular countries of the region.
During the workshop, member countries had the privilege to meet with foreign entities such as INFOSYS BPO Limited, Baxter Agencies, Sykes and CITI Group, among others. These entities shared their experience with CINDE and their reasoning for choosing Costa Rica as their place for doing business.
Given the objective of these workshops and of CAIPA, the TEATT Ministry, in its bid to spur economic growth and development, considers CAIPA’s initiative very important.
Analysis has indicated that the period when St. Maarten experienced 5-6 per cent economic growth was when FDI inflow was at its highest. Hence, it is the Ministry’s intention to develop strategies and actively identify diversifying sectors for which the island will promote investment and development purposes. TEATT is in in the process of developing an Investment Strategy document.
Countries that attended the workshop included; Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Dominican Republic.