January 2015

NEW!! Updated Private Sector Assessment Reports  

What are the new emerging sectors in the Caribbean?


Do you have any idea what are the key challenges that our countries face? How about the primary components of the productive sectors?


If you hesitated, then the Compete Caribbean Private Sector Assessment Reports (PSARs) may be of significant assistance to you. These reports were updated and edited by the Economists Intelligence Unit (EIU) to give Caribbean firms, policy makers and academics comprehensive overviews of the private sector in 14 CARIFORUM countries. 

Each report focuses on the following:
      • Primary components of the productive sector;
      • Key challenges;
      • Potential emerging sectors;
      • Policy recommendations for priority areas.

The assessments draw on international and local data sources, as well as on interviews with key stakeholders. The initiative highlights salient policy issues that require attention in order to improve competitiveness and foster private sector development (PSD).

Access Reports Here 

Venture Capital and Private Equity Markets
in Jamaica Assisting with Access to Finance

The contribution of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to economic growth and development has long been of high interest to Caribbean Stakeholders.


Recognizing that the Venture Capital market may be able to improve the much needed access to finance for high potential MSMEs, the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited (DBL) and the Compete Caribbean Program partnered to deliver a consultancy that sought to identify and develop the relevant documentation and guidelines necessary to support the development of the venture capital and private equity industry in Jamaica. 

This consultancy was funded by the Compete Caribbean Program under its Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) Implementation Facility and its expected result will be a dynamic environment, in which start-ups and MSMEs could access equity financing in order to fulfill their true potential. Moreover, this environment will also provide investors, both local and foreign, with an avenue for the diversification of their portfolios through investments in a country that is making strides in the advancement of its business and investment climate. These strides are evident in Jamaica most recent jump of 27 positions to 58th out of 189 countries on the World Bank Doing Business Report 2015.

The efforts of the Program in this regard are a continuation to the work that was started by the DBL since January 2013. These efforts have also been supported by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) in a detailed Market Analysis and Strategic Plan for the industry. It is expected that at the culmination of all this work, and as a result of the contribution of the Compete Caribbean Program, a model will be operationalized that will seek to incentivize and encourage local and foreign venture capital investments in an environment that is effective, streamlined, well regulated and facilitative without being unnecessarily bureaucratic in nature.


Competitiveness and Innovation
Way Forward for Trinidad and Tobago


In October 2014, Trinidad and Tobago successfully hosted the seventh Americas Competitiveness Forum (Click for Summary). As hosts, Trinidad placed innovation at the heart of the Forum when it selected the theme, "The Human Imagination at Work, Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation".  This choice was strategic in that innovation has become central to national and international discussions and decisions on economic growth.

This country, with its traditionally disproportionate reliance on the oil and gas industry, has intensified its diversification efforts with a particular goal of growing knowledge and innovation-related industries and becoming a regional hub for innovation and for the production of new ideas, products and services. The installation of an Economic Development Board (EDB) and a Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (CCI) is intended to lead these efforts and prioritise "realigning the economy" as is stated in the Government's Medium Term Policy Framework 2011-2014. 

Given the importance of Innovation to economic growth and sustainable long-term development, the Compete Caribbean Program is very happy to be partnering with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on the implementation of a Technical Cooperation project with a combined total of worth over US $1 million. Specifically, the technical cooperation project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development and is geared towards the strengthening of the technical secretariat that supports both the EDC and the CCI.

Most recently, two very important knowledge products were completed under this operation-an innovation survey and an innovation study. These new resources have given rise to an improved consensus among stakeholders about the key role of innovation in raising the growth potential through economic diversification and improvement of price and non-price international competitiveness in Trinidad and Tobago. Read More

A Shift in Gears with Free Circulation
of Goods in the OECS

Members of Task Force

The implementation of the Free Circulation of Goods regime in the OECS has shifted into technical implementation. With the majority of national technical working groups having been convened, the aim of having goods that have been lawfully placed on the market in one Member State allowed to be placed on the market of other Member States without having to satisfy any further tests or authorization procedures without justifiable cause is one step closer to reality.


The Compete Caribbean Program is elated to be supporting a technical cooperation that is intended to improve the enabling environment for business development, trade, and integration in the OECS. More specifically, with committed resources of USD$500,000.00, the Program in partnership with the OECS Commission will coordinate the implementation of activities that aim to support the effective operation of the OECS Economic Union through the establishment and implementation of a regime for free circulation of goods within the OECS.


The project continues to engage its fully functioning steering committee that drives the oversight and coordination of the Free Circulation Regime. Most recently, the committee had its third (second face-to-face) meeting on December 10th and 11th , 2014  in St. Lucia. Participants to the meeting and members of the committee included: OECS Commissioner Ambassador Ellsworth John (Chairman), private sector interest groups, technical staff from the Ministries of Trade and Agriculture, Customs Departments the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank as well as key staff from the OECS Secretariat. The Program was represented by Alejandro Carrión, OECS Coordinator, and Wayne Elliott, Project Development Officer for Business Climate Reform Projects.


In addition to this multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary steering committee, the project team continues to leverage the experience of other donor agencies and continues to forge relationships that seek to avoid duplication and build consensus in the OECS sub-region.


The next meeting of the Regional Task Force for the Free Circulation of Goods will be a virtual meeting and is scheduled to take place this quarter. 
Where We Are Today...
Compete Caribbean At A Glance

Take a look at the outputs achieved by the Program so far and the progress against our targets as of December 31, 2014...

This Month's Featured Study

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