Caribbean needs to compete more for investment

| 13/06/2011

(CNS): The Caribbean was urged to compete for the global "wallet share" and step up the promotion of "its investment story," by vice president of investment at Goldman Sachs last week. Dave Dowrich the keynote speaker at the inaugural Invest Caribbean Power Forum in New York City on Thursday insisted that the Caribbean's investment "product" stacks up against most other regions of the world on several fronts, such as political stability, accessibility and ease of doing business. But "where we fall down is in selling and telling our investment story,” he said.

Comparing the Caribbean to private companies going public and the need to ensure that their story continues being told to their existing and future investor base, Dowrich said the Caribbean and its leaders must see investment in a similar vein.

"We therefore need to be sure that at every opportunity, our story is told on a consistent basis and told by credible and trust worthy folks such as our senior ministers, and then reinforced by our teams on the ground, who can 'talk the talk' of those that need to hear it," he added.

Dowrich was one of four speakers who addressed the along with Minister of Business Development & Tourism of Bermuda, Patrice Kimberly Minors; Martin Mohabeer, the Guyana-born Managing Director of Spackman Group and CEO of Spackman Capital and David Brillembourg, CEO of the Brilla Group.

Minors said Bermuda remains open to doing business while Brillembourg advised that attention be turned to Latin American pension funds as potential investors in the Caribbean region. Mohabeer announced the SEAF Caribbean Growth Fund, insisting that the Caribbean small business market is "tremendously underserved."

Among the over 120 attendees at the event were several money managers from the New York's investment community as well as top tourism officials from the Caribbean including the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Minister of Tourism and International Travel for St. Kitts/Nevis, Ricky Skerritt; Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism, Barbados,  Ed Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica; Peter David, Minister of Tourism, Grenada; Commissioner of Tourism of St. Eustacius, Clyde Van Putten; Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley; Sylma Brown Bramble, director of CTO North America; Alec Sanguinetti, Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Josef Forstmayr, President, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, and other top CTO officials as well as  Caribbean directors of tourism.

The Cayman Islands was represented by the chief officer it he ministry of finance and tourism, Carson Ebanks.

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