“Understandably, in the past, some of our countries developed experience and expertise in agriculture but this was principally mono-cultural agriculture such as sugar or banana. We did not really explore the possibility for diversified commercial agricultural development. But today we are witnessing great potential for hydroponics and greenhouse agriculture and we are hoping to see new investor interest in such areas, especially with the current global challenges of food insecurity,” Said Dr. Douglas.
The St. Kitts and Nevis leader in delivering the keynote address during the session “Investing in the Caribbean” on Wednesday 26th October at the Burswood Convention Centre said the region welcomes companies/investors that are interested in investing in technology and enterprises that are eco-friendly and can help to reduce or cap the carbon footprint in the islands such as St. Kitts and Nevis.
“This environmentally conscious decision could in turn benefit the companies which stand to benefit from global carbon credits schemes. As you can see, what I am suggesting here is essentially about government and private sector working together for the common good; which is consistent with our new framework thrust for investment in what we call PPP framework or Public-Private Partnership,” said Dr. Douglas, who added:
“One of the many beauties of the Caribbean investment infrastructure lies in its potential in the services sector in countries whether in Jamaica, Barbados and the small countries which constitute the OECS. Although Trinidad and Tobago benefit from resources and opportunities in petroleum and natural gas, they also have great potential in the areas of light manufacturing and other diversified products.”
Prime Minister Douglas said given the region’s narrow resource base, many of the countries had come to depend, not only on domestic investment, but also foreign direct investment.
“But in a competitive global market place, the question which instinctively arises is ‘how do we as political leaders work in an integrated way to make sure that our countries maintain a competitive edge and remain attractive for investment, not only for its citizens and residents but also for foreign investors seeking ideal locations for businesses? In the region we have embarked on efforts to establish a region-wide investment agency to ensure that potential investors have a one-stop shop for information and access to the levers that will facilitate the establishment of a business. Some of the key ingredients include among others: (1) a stable political climate; (2) low crime rates; (3) stable currency; (4) good infrastructure; (5) an efficient and effective legal system, and (6) availability of a skilled and educated labor force,” said the Prime Minister.