October 2014

Compete Caribbean Contributes to Jamaica's

27 Place Jump in World Bank Rankings


Jamaica is number one in the Caribbean on the ease of doing business as determined by the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2015.


Jamaica's ranking was upgraded from 85 out of 189 countries in 2014, to 58 out of189 countries in the recently released 2015 report. This was the greatest improvement registered in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2015.


This progress is related to a number of positive reforms in the areas of: Legal rights of borrowers and lenders, improving credit information systems, instituting a secured transactions framework and collateral registry, improved regulation of connection processes and costs making it easier to get electricity, simplified post-registration procedures (tax registration, social security and licensing).


To this end, Compete Caribbean is elated to have supported the Government of Jamaica through technical assistance grants of approximately USD1.2 million. This support led to, among others, the implementation of key reforms including the drafting of legislation to facilitate movable collateral, and is crucial to alleviating one of the top business constraints in the country - access to finance. Read More 

Compete Caribbean Hosts Workshop for
Competitiveness Authorities in the Caribbean

The workshop for Competitiveness Authorities in the Caribbean was held at the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum 2014 in Trinidad and Tobago on October 8 and focused on solutions to some of the challenges facing businesses in the Caribbean by presenting InvestAmericas and the ProteQin survey to over 90 participants.


One of the main challenges for SMEs in the region is access to financing. The InvestAmericas platform allows investors from around the world to connect to enterprises across Latin America and the Caribbean. It was created as part of a strategic initiative by the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), in order to lower the due diligence and transaction costs associated with investing.


Another challenge to business development in the region is limited reliable information on the obstacles that firms face. In 2010, Compete Caribbean financed the inclusion, for the first time, of 9 Caribbean countries in the World Bank's enterprise surveys (LACES), plus the updates of five others.  


The ProteQin Survey is a follow-up survey implemented in 2013 and 2014. This survey significantly expanded the scope of the LACES while also incorporating more questions on labour, technology and innovation, commercial victimisation and productivity.  


The LACES and ProteQin provide the first opportunity to employ panel data to the analysis of firm-related matters in the Caribbean and allow the prioritisation of solutions based on empirical evidence.


Finally, findings of a study on the success factors of large Caribbean firms was also presented. This study examined how large firms in the region have grown and what lessons can be learned from their stories of expansion and success.


The session was moderated by Executive Director of Compete caribbean, Dr. Sylvia Dohnert and presentations were delivered by Gregory Da Re, Chief Strategy and Innovation, Inter-American Investment Corporation - Launch of InvestAmericas;

Musheer Kamau, Operations Senior Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank - ProteQin survey results and Dr. Miguel Carillo, Executive Director, Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, Trinidad and Tobago - Large Regional Firms, What Makes Them Successful. Click To View Presentations    

Appreciating Clusters In The Caribbean

Roberta Rabellotti
Understanding the characteristics of clusters in the Caribbean as well as defining policies for their development was the basis of a timely and thought-provoking study recently commissioned by Compete Caribbean, and presented by renowned author Roberta Rabellotti at the RIAC meeting.

Caribbean economies face challenges such as climate change, low productivity, high
emigration rates, high public debt, poor regional linkages, narrow scope to build economies of scale due to the small size of their domestic markets and high susceptibility to exogenous shocks due to their openness. 
An approach that focuses on clusters and on their characteristics such as collective efficiency, information and knowledge sharing, division of labor, sharing of specialized inputs and collective access to market suits the Caribbean countries. Clusters represent an opportunity for Caribbean economies and their enterprises, in particular their SMEs, to access larger and more sophisticated markets, to improve knowledge and technologies, to train specialized human capital and to lobby governments for infrastructure and specific policy supports that would otherwise be unavailable to individual companies.

The aim of this report is to map Caribbean cluster cases and identify their specific characteristics, based on the existing literature and on the available empirical evidence. An empirical exercise is undertaken through a desk review of 32 cases of clusters distributed in a variety of industries across the Caribbean, such as natural resources based industries, comprising agriculture, agro-processing, forestry, aquaculture and energy; manufacturing; and services, embracing tourism, creative industries and business services.

This timely and thought-provoking study was commissioned by Compete Caribbean and authored by:  Rabellotti - UniversitÓ di Pisa, Italy
and Elisa Giuliani - UniversitÓ di Pisa, Italy in collaboration with Rachel Alexander - University of Manchester, UK. In addition to Rabellotti's presentation, Dr. Keith Nurse's "Human Imagination, Innovation and Competitiveness in the Caribbean", also commissioned by Compete Caribbean, was also disseminated at the conference.  Read More
Compete Caribbean Booth Draws Interest At RIAC

Compete Caribbean's Kayla Grant interacts with visitors 
Compete Caribbean showcased its program and projects at the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum 2014 in Trinidad and Tobago during October 8-10, 2014 to 1000 participants from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Over 200 persons visited the booth and engaged in meaningful dialogue with the Compete Caribbean team of Kayla Grant, Stefano Pereira and Karen Mahy. The team reported great excitement from the audience on the content and scope of the Program.

Compete Caribbean shared information on its projects, increased its network of contacts, disseminated pertinent information on its knowledge products and televised a selection of its success stories. 
Compete Caribbean Team Visits Upper Suriname

Minister of Transport, Communication & Tourism, Minister Felisi Pinas addresses the launch of the Rainforest Experience
A team from Compete Caribbean recently visited the Upper Suriname region to officially launch the Suriname Rainforest Experience Cluster and from all reports it was indeed a memorable expedition.

Component Coordinator, Celene Cleland-Gomez and Project Development Officer, Tamara Gibson saw first hand what visitors to the area will experience. They found themselves on a wild river in the middle of the Amazon Jungle, where women in colorful shawls do laundry and men return with their fishing treasure. A completely different world that could only be experienced in the pristine natural landscape of Upper Suriname.

The warmth of the Saramaccan people as well as the preservation of and pride in their history and culture gave the team an authentic impression of their lifestyle; and the awesome potential this project will have for Upper Suriname and visitors alike moving forward.

The Compete Caribbean intervention is expected to yield the following results:

  •  Suriname Tourism cluster strengthened
  • Lodges better able to meet international tourism quality standards and market demands
  • Increased market visibility and interest in Suriname and the Upper Suriname River Region

Assessing the Development of the   

Private Sector - A Regional Comparison


Compete Caribbean's Private Sector Assessment Reports (PSARs) provide comprehensive overviews of the private sector in 14 CARIFORUM countries. We are happy to present the first batch which includes the six OECS countries and Barbados.


In each of these countries, the following areas were specifically evaluated:

  • Primary components of the productive sector
  • Key challenges
  • Potential emerging sectors
  • Policy recommendations for priority areas

It draws on both local interviews with key stakeholders as well as data sources to conduct evaluations aimed at promoting the growth of the private sector. The private sector is crucial to achieving inclusive growth. The initiative focuses on the salient policy issues that require attention in order to improve competitiveness and foster private sector development (PSD). View PSARs 

Productive Development Policies - The Bahamas & Suriname

This stimulating video webinar delves into the critical assessment of PDPs affecting two selected sectors (Tourism and Agriculture) and drills down the following areas in The Bahamas and Suriname:
  • Understand main binding constraints to growth
  • Analyze PDPs:
    • Theoretical justification
    • Those required to overcome restrictions
    • Institutional settings
  • Policy Implications
PDP's in the Bahamas and Suriname
PDP's in the Bahamas and Suriname
The Pure Grenada Nutmeg and Spice Festival
Beginning on November 22 2014, the Pure Grenada Nutmeg and Spice Festival will showcase the diverse ways in which the island's spices can be used. 
From culinary competitions and photography exhibitions, the festival is not one to be missed.  Read More

Welches, Maxwell Main Road

Christ Church, BB17068

Tel: 246-627-8500
Email: competecaribbean@iadb.org