July 31, 2014
Invest SVG pursuing investors for development of SVG

Invest SVG has adopted, since last year August, a more aggressive, targeted approach to obtaining and attracting investments and as a result now actively pursues potential investors.{{more}}

“We actively pursue potential investors who are a good fit to realizing developmental objectives in and for St Vincent and the Grenadines,” says executive director at Invest SVG Bernadette Ambrose-Black.{{more}}

Speaking this week from her office at the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) building on Granby Street, Ambrose-Black said that her agency is the Investment Promotion Agency of government and therefore is mandated to promote and attract foreign and local investment in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

She said that Invest SVG must be aggressive in its approach to attracting investments, as the agency is responsible for promoting and attracting investment in all sectors, with particular emphasis on seven key sectors which are considered to offer the most significant economic growth prospects for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

These sectors are: hotel and tourism; agro processing; international financial services; information and communication technology (ICT); renewable energy; the creative industry; agriculture and light manufacturing.

Ambrose-Black revealed they are also seeking formal approval to add sports and health and wellness to their portfolio.

She said that with all this in mind, a number of projects are in the pipeline while grant funding is being sought (and in some cases already approved) from agencies like the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) and Compete Caribbean.

“We are on a drive to establish a lucrative project management unit within Invest SVG and we have been seeking grant funding,” said Ambrose-Black stressed that with the introduction of their proactive approach, “we are looking at ways in which we can strategically attract more apt investments suitable to what we have to offer in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We have been looking at creative ways to not only maximize on the funds granted by the Government, but also to leverage on other resources such as grant funding and strategic public and private partnerships with other key organizations.”

She added that they have already targeted investors for adventure and entertainment tourism, while a realignment on how resources are allocated has been done, “and it has been working because statistics show an increase in Foreign Direct Investment for the latter part of 2013.

“Invest SVG seeks to offer a one stop shop for investors, through its involvement in each of the processes required to bring the investment to completion and to a state of being operational.”

She added that the organization was established in 2003 and incorporated under the Companies Act of 1994. The company currently has 10 employees.

“The company has enjoyed moderate success in attracting and facilitating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).”

In August 2009, the National Investment Promotions Inc (NIPI) was rebranded to Invest SVG, and now conducts promotional and other non-contractual functions under this brand.

“Invest SVG is also focusing on social development by way of execution of projects, vis-à-vis tangible corporate social responsibility,” said Ambrose-Black.

The organization can claim responsibility for attracting the Tribu and Lady Rock projects in Mayreau, while among the larger projects facilitated are the Buccament Bay Resort, FM Development, BM Resorts and SKR Beverages.

NIPI provided financial assistance for many local businesses and entrepreneurs to attend relevant and general tradeshows, workshops and other training opportunities.

“As a Business Support Organization we are committed to do our part to enhance the development of the private sector which will improve competitiveness and economic growth in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We continue to assist small entrepreneurs with project proposal writing, accessing grant funding, and becoming export ready. We look forward to welcoming both local and foreign investors to our offices, as we contribute to the overall economic and social growth of the nation,” Ambrose-Black points out.