World Bank Group Study Highlights Caribbean Investment Climate
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WASHINGTON, DC, June 18, 2007—Export processing zones, a strategic location near the United States, and a largely English-speaking labor force are some of the advantages awaiting companies considering investments in the Caribbean region. These findings are detailed in a new report—Snapshot Caribbean—released by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the Foreign Investment Advisory Service, the World Bank Group’s investment climate advisory arm.
The study, the sixth in a series under MIGA’s Global Enterprise Benchmarking program, was conducted to help investment promotion intermediaries in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and St. Lucia understand their locations’ comparative advantages for attracting investment in export services, food processing, and tourism operations. The countries were evaluated in each industry based on the costs and operating conditions experienced by existing investors with facilities in these countries.
“Although the Caribbean region has suffered from recent natural disasters, all four countries surveyed have experienced a steady growth in foreign direct investment and are showing signs of recovery,” says Yukiko Omura, Executive Vice President of MIGA.
Niche markets for organic and ethnic food products, ecotourism, and specialized customer care provided by call centers provide further opportunities for foreign direct investment. Caribbean countries are also reaping the benefits of global outsourcing. In fact, some companies are relocating their call centers from Asia to the Caribbean to serve the US market. In addition to geographic and cultural proximity to the US, the Caribbean generally offers investor-friendly regulatory regimes.
The study was jointly funded by MIGA and the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Special Advisory Services Division, and managed by MIGA.
Release no. 2007/112