CAIPA’s 2023 Year in Review: Full of Growth, Collaboration, and Achievements!

CAIPA’s 2023 Year in Review: Full of Growth, Collaboration, and Achievements!

Courtesy: CAIPA

Message from the CAIPA President: Ronald Theodore, CEO of GIDC

As an eventful 2023 ends, I am proud of the achievements of the Association despite the many challenges faced. The year 2023 has been marked by strategic collaborations, global forums, and initiatives to foster investment, build connections, and showcase the immense potential within the Caribbean.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to CAIPA’s many partners and friends who provided support at this critical point in our journey. I also want to say thank you to the CAIPA Board of Directors, who helped shape the direction and focus of the Association.

As we look to 2024, I am heartened by the continued support of the CAIPA members and the Association’s expansion as we welcome Bermuda to the membership. Next year will be even bigger and better as CAIPA unfolds innovative solutions to the sustainability of the Association, introducing our members to new partners and investors, hosting landmark events, and presenting training opportunities to build our members’ capacity.

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Let’s keep working together CAIPA members, to build a region that is a beacon of excellence in investment facilitation. Here are some highlights of the work we did in 2023.

CAIPA Secretariat becomes Independent

Since its establishment, the CAIPA Secretariat has been housed within the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export). In February 2023, the CAIPA Secretariat became independent of Caribbean Export.

As a temporary measure, the Association has relocated its Secretariat to the office of the CAIPA member that currently holds the Presidency, the Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC).

In April 2023, CAIPA signed a MOU with Caribbean Export to ensure continued collaboration in promoting the Caribbean as a place for business. The independence of CAIPA is an important milestone for the Association as it charts a course to even greater heights.

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Development of the CAIPA Newsletter

CAIPA launched a newsletter to keep stakeholders informed and excited about evolving investment opportunities in our member nations. This newsletter serves as a dynamic resource for investors, informing them about the latest developments, projects, and investment options in the Caribbean.

Each edition provides insights from the perspectives of two to three member nations. Beyond its informative role, the newsletter is a virtual platform, connecting investors to valuable information and fostering dialogue that can lead to potential collaborations. Investors can leverage the newsletter to initiate discussions and explore investment prospects with specific countries of interest.

Check out 2023 Newsletters.

CAIPA Prioritizes Capacity Building for its Members

Throughout 2023, CAIPA conducted targeted training sessions and workshops to enhance the capacity of member Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs). These training sessions serve to enhance the capacity of IPAs in investment promotion, providing new information on best practices to attract, retain, and expand investments.

The first training session was on 15 June 2023 — a virtual webinar on Due Diligence and Investment Facilitation, in collaboration with Monfort Advisory. The training saw more than 40 delegates from across the Caribbean participating.

The second training session was held with an international expert, David Lovegrove, on 22 June, featuring Best Practices in Investment Facilitation. More than 65 delegates from the CAIPA membership participated in the virtual session, including representatives from the Board of Directors within each country.

Finally, from 24-28 July 2023, CAIPA facilitated an in-person training session with UNIDO on Investment Project Preparation and Appraisal. More than 20 delegates from CAIPA member countries participated in this workshop. The Association has also promoted and supported training on startups, organized by the OACPS, with Invest in India and Startups India.

Mission to Africa

From 5-16 June 2023, CAIPA participated in the trade and investment mission to Africa, namely Ghana and Nigeria, organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency. The aim of the mission was to explore opportunities for trade, investment, and cooperation between the Caribbean, Ghana, and Nigeria. Participating CAIPA members included the Bahamas Investment Authority, Invest Barbados, ProDominicana, and St Kitts Investment Promotion. The mission presented an opportunity for CAIPA to highlight investment opportunities in the Caribbean and widen its global contacts’ network.

MOU with the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (PMAC)

On 28-30 June, 2023, CAIPA participated in the 26th Annual General Meeting of PMAC in Antigua & Barbuda. The event saw the signing of an MOU with the Association, marking the collaboration between the partners to strengthen the region’s investment proposition for the logistics and transportation sector and attract investors into the sector.

Usa-Caribbean Investment Forum

The USA-Caribbean Investment Forum, held in New York City on 15-16 September 2023, was a collaborative effort between CAIPA and members of the CARICOM Consular Corps in New York (namely, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago). The event aimed to position the Caribbean as a prime investment destination for US investors and the Caribbean Diaspora.

The USA-Caribbean Investment Forum in September 2023 revealed the abundant investment prospects in the Caribbean and served as a platform for potential investors to explore sustainable growth projects. This event facilitated direct dialogue with industry leaders, providing valuable insights into the unique advantages of Caribbean investments.

The participation of key stakeholders as speakers or sponsors, such as the Caribbean Development Bank, the National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited, USAID, Ethniv, Invest Barbados, IDB Lab, the Saint James School of Medicine, and two representatives from the office of the Governor of New York were clear indications of stakeholders willing to partner with CAIPA to advance the investment agenda for the Caribbean.

The event also saw two Ministers of Government from the Caribbean participating: Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism, Cayman Islands, and Hon. Erwin J. Saunders, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Turks and Caicos Islands. The forum offered unparalleled networking prospects, fostering collaboration and paving the way for future investment endeavors that would engage the Caribbean Diaspora meaningfully.

Saudi-Caribbean Investment Webinars

CAIPA continues its engagement with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) following the inaugural Saudi-Caribbean Investment Forum held in the Dominican Republic in 2022. Two webinars were held to showcase investment opportunities in the region.

The first featured the presentation of four packaged investment opportunities from the Dominican Republic, Barbados, and Guyana on 14 June 2023, and the second saw investment projects in the OECS region being presented on 19 October 2023. The webinars form a part of CAIPA’s mission to expand the region’s target markets to include non-traditional investors such as those from the Middle East.

World Investment Forum 2023

Another pivotal moment in 2023 was CAIPA’s active participation in the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi on 16-19 October. This global platform, dedicated to addressing investment and development challenges, provided a unique opportunity for the Caribbean to influence international investment policy and network with leaders worldwide.

More than 20 Caribbean delegates representing nine CAIPA member countries participated in the event. The collaboration with UNCTAD allowed members to play an active role as speakers and discussants in the agenda, increasing the profile of the Caribbean as an investment destination.

The CAIPA delegation included Ministers of Government from the Bahamas, namely Minister Jobeth Coleby Davis, Minister of Transport and Housing; Curacao, namely, Minister Ruisandro Cijntje, Minister of Economic Development; Dominica, Minister Daren Pinard, Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour, Public Service Reform, Social Partnership Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development with specific responsibility for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development; the Dominican Republic, Minister Fantino Polanco, Vice Minister of Industrial Development of the Ministry of Industry. CAIPA was also pleased to welcome as a delegation member H.E. Vishnu Dhanpaul, High Commissioner to the UK for Trinidad & Tobago.

At the event, CAIPA hosted a booth for its member countries. Prodominicana, CINEX Invest Barbados, and Invest Saint Lucia also hosted booths at the event showcasing investment opportunities in their respective territories.

The forum, with over 6,000 stakeholders from 160 countries, including Heads of State, ministers, and business executives, presented an excellent platform for CAIPA and its members to network for potential collaborations, connect with potential investors, international organisations, investment experts, and key decision-makers, fostering relationships that transcend borders. It also presented an opportunity for the CAIPA delegation to host strategic meetings with the Secretary-General for the Commonwealth Secretariat, the CEO of the World Ocean Council, UNIDO, the World Bank, and UNCTAD.

CAIPA is incorporated as a Not-for-Profit

On 26 October 2023, CAIPA was incorporated as a not-for-profit in Curacao, with the support of the Association’s member in that country, CINEX. This status is a significant milestone for CAIPA as the Association positions itself to attract funding and increase collaboration with strategic partners and investors as a legal entity in the Caribbean.

CAIPA annual general meeting goes virtual for 2023

On 1 December 2023, CAIPA hosted an online Annual General Meeting. The meeting saw the participation of 29 delegates representing 19 CAIPA members. The ANIMA Investment Network made special presentations on their sustainable development impact rating tool, UNIDO on the Invest in ACP portal, and the IDB on the way forward for the Digital Communication to attract FDI.Project with CAIPA.

At the meeting, members voted in support of the Bermuda Development Agency (BDA) joining CAIPA. The event also saw CAIPA members voting on strategic initiatives to move the Association forward and on activities for the 2024 work program.

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