NIPI to promote investment
August 20, 2004
NIPI to promote investment

The National Investment Promotion Incorporated (NIPI) considered by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves the central institutional pillar in the state administration to promote the local investment climate and attract direct, private foreign investment to St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been officially launched.{{more}}
Though the official launch took place last Monday morning at Methodist Church Hall the organisation had been established since October 2003.
This institution will concentrate its efforts in promoting and attracting investment in the areas of hotels and tourism, international financial services, information technology and related services, and physical infrastructure (including airport development and housing).
Edmond Jackson, budget director and chairman of NIPI, in his welcoming remarks said with a domestic market of just 100,000 citizens, economic growth in St. Vincent and the Grenadines must be predicated upon a strategy that places emphasis on the production of goods and services for foreign export.
“It is therefore the job of the NIPI to work with the Government and the private sector to create the environment that will stimulate investment for the further development of the external sector, the ultimate goal being to stimulate job growth and wider economic development,” Jackson explained.
The new entity comprises nine board members, five public sector officials who sit in ex-officio capacities and four persons drawn from the private sector. The board is responsible to the Minister of Finance and the head of its daily operations is the Executive Director Suzanne Joachim.
The NIPI, whose functions are carried out by five staff members, is funded by way of a Government subvention; however, as the company develops it is anticipated that opportunities will raise some revenue. Jackson stated that in addition to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the European Union, the local European Development Fund (EDF) office also provides much needed financial assistance.
Jackson explained that NIPI is designed to provide a single point of contact for prospective investors to guide them through the various stages of the investment process. Investors can expect a speedy process and less frustration since this co-ordinated role, self-integrated, defragmented process will span many ministries and agencies.
Also addressing the ceremony, Louise Mitchell, offshore finance director, revealed that the creation of the NIPI was the vision of Prime Minister Gonsalves in consultation with his financial advisor Christian “Cims” Martin.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told the gathering: “This is a land free of terrorism; it is the locale of peace and tranquillity; it is the natural place to be. If any potential investors doubt any or all that I have been saying, I have one simple answer for them: Test my words with those investors who are already among us. I urge you, if you are sceptical to speak to foreign investors who are already here in the field of tourism, international financial services, banking and insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing or construction,” said Prime Minister Gonsalves.
The ceremony was attended by a high profile international delegation, comprising Angela Straughn, chief programme officer in the Commonwealth Secretariat, President of JAMPRO Patricia Francis and Samuel Lohman, the world-wide president emeritus.