Promoting the SVG Advantage
September 24, 2004

Promoting the SVG Advantage

Discover the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Advantage, was the tag line used to promote the first ever economic mission to Taiwan August 25 to September 1.
After observing 23 years of a relationship that was mainly diplomatic, on August 15 the decision was taken to pursue an economic/trading relationship. {{more}}This change in direction was proposed by resident ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Her Excellency Elizabeth Chu.
With the Government of SVG seeking new opportunities for attracting foreign direct investment, the decision was taken to establish the National Investment Promotions Incorporated. This new entity is headed by businesswoman Suzanne Joachim.
Joachim comes to the job with a sound practical business experience where she owned and managed her own business, which she has since sold, and has buttressed that experience with a Masters in Business Administration.
On this first mission, the decision was taken to promote St. Vincent and the Grenadines as an international financial services centre.
To this end, Suzanne Joachim, presented the reason why St. Vincent should be chosen as a place to do business.
A clean jurisdiction with good ratings from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), good relations with the OECD, lower costs, simple set-up procedure for companies and quick response time are the reasons Joachim gave for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be considered as a place to do business.
Citing our excellent telecommunications infrastructure, highly trainable workforce with knowledgeable practitioners, she made the case that instead of using Singapore, Hong Kong or the British Virgin Islands, they could use St. Vincent.
International financial services are in great demand by Taiwanese businesses, especially those doing business on mainland China.
Interestingly, although there is huge tension between the two, more than 40 per cent of Taiwan’s investment is on mainland China and some 100 billion dollars worth of business is conducted between them.
Although this is the case, business cannot be conducted directly. It is here that Taiwanese businesses have to use international business companies (IBCs), established somewhere other than Taiwan to be able to conduct business with the Peoples Republic of China.
Additionally, the Taiwanese Government is concerned that they need to diversify their investments as it is presently too skewed towards mainland China. The move by manufacturing entities to establish themselves in other countries also requires the use of offshore business structures.
In meetings with the Banking Association of Taiwan, the Mission was told that every effort must be made to educate Taiwanese businesses about St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The mission was part of such an education programme.
“We need more details of your country and the services you offer,” said the chairman of the Association.
Other members of the delegation were Louise Mitchell, Executive Director of the International Financial Services Authority, Stanton DeFreitas – Commercial Agent, Marcus Ballantyne of International Business Services Ltd, Joseph Miller of Triton Capital Trust, Tim Gabriel, Kelly Glass of Karib Kable/Kelcom, and Jerry George – Journalist.