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(From left) Anthony Regisford, chairman of the Board — Invest SVG; Gayle Gollop, special advisor — legal affairs, Caribbean Export; Russell Franklyn, operations and financial coordinator — Inter-American Development Bank Compete Caribbean; Annette Mark, executive director — Invest SVG, at the recent launch of SVG Investment Forum 2020. (Photo: Caribbean Export)

St Vincent and Grenadines to host first investment forum in May

(From left) Anthony Regisford, chairman of the Board — Invest SVG; Gayle Gollop, special advisor — legal affairs, Caribbean Export; Russell Franklyn, operations and financial coordinator — Inter-American Development Bank Compete Caribbean; Annette Mark, executive director — Invest SVG, at the recent launch of SVG Investment Forum 2020. (Photo: Caribbean Export)

Invest SVG — the investment promotions agency of St Vincent and the Grenadines — will host the Caribbean country’s inaugural SVG Investment Forum on May 2, 2020, on the island of Bequia.

According to Invest SVG Executive Director Annette Mark, her organisation has been looking for a way to expose investors to the culture, way of doing business, and to expand their perception as to what could be possible.  

With this in mind, she said the aims of the event include to produce “heightened visibility as a prime jurisdiction in the Caribbean for investment, to generate investor leads… and to give investors who are not familiar with St Vincent and the Grenadines an opportunity to meet public officials and to understand how we do business here”.

Mark also disclosed that investors who attend the forum will be the first to benefit from the highest quality of investor leads, ultimately increasing the possibility of their doing business. 

Perfect timing

The announcement of SVG Investment Forum comes when more countries are competing to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), especially as UNCTAD’s 2019 World Investment Report recorded the third-consecutive year of global decline in FDI.  

Notwithstanding, the Caribbean continues to receive some of the highest levels of FDI in the world. As a result, SVG Invest Forum is a prime opportunity for the country to increase its visibility and promote areas for investment. 

Even more significant, the forum will take place in the 40th year of the country’s independence, and so the organisers expect this will boost the country’s visibility with international investors.

Focused on growth

InvestSVG is hoping to attract over 100 attendees, including qualified investors, government officials, private sector representatives, and development partners to the event.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), Caribbean Development Bank and Compete Caribbean are sponsors 

An aerial view of Bequia island, where Invest SVG plans to host Invest SVG 2020 on May 2. (Photo: News 784)

“Caribbean Export recognises that the Vincentian economy is focused on rowth in the upcoming years. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) projected a 2.3 per cent growth in 2020 for the economy fuelled by increased tourist arrivals,” Gayle Gollop, legal advisor at Caribbean Export, said.

“It is, however, recommended that sustainable growth be achieved by enhancing the competitiveness of the local private sector, increasing exports and investments and reaching new markets, which will lead to increased GDP, foreign exchange earnings, and employment. We view the investment forum as an important step in establishing linkages and promoting investment into the country and achieving this growth objective,” she continued.