May 2015


Productivity, Technology and Innovation 


In order to increase the region's understanding about private sector development and firm level performance in the Caribbean, Compete Caribbean is inviting interested researchers to produce original analytical pieces using PROTEqIN and LACES datasets. 


Six proposals will be selected to be developed into full-fledged papers and will form part of an edited volume on private sector development in the Caribbean. Selected applicants will receive USD5,000 plus travel and accommodation to attend two workshops in Barbados.


PROTEqIN and LACES are complete, comprehensive and internationally comparable firm-level datasets covering 14 Caribbean territories. The datasets record firm level behavior related to a variety of aspects such as: Sales, supplies, foreign trade and competition, innovation, conflict resolution, crime prevention, business environment and government relations, labour and skills, financing and performance among others. Apply Here

Dr. Gonsalves in discussion with Dohnert while Ambrose-Black listens in.

"We have to bring to the table real, new ideas and disruptive thought attract investment and create wealth and jobs." A bold statement made by Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves at the May 12, 2015 signing of an agreement between his Government and Compete Caribbean.


The project, valued at USD220,000, will be directed toward strengthening the Invest SVG institution and training of staff there as well. Dr. Gonsalves further implored Invest SVG to go beyond "window dressing" and continue to improve itself. He added that he expects that Compete Caribbean will bring fresh ideas which should be accompanied by action from all stakeholders.


Meanwhile, Executive Director of Compete Caribbean, Sylvia Dohnert explained that the program works with governments across the region to execute legal, regulatory and administrative reforms, while highlighting how important foreign direct investment is for economic growth, generating employment and developing new sectors that may not already exist within a country.


Citing JAMPRO in Jamaica and Beltrade in Belize as highly successful examples of Compete Caribbean technical assistance involvement, Dohnert said: "We are confident that this project will yield very positive results,"


Director of Invest SVG, Bernadette Ambrose-Black said that she is pleased with this new project that is aimed at improving the investment attraction climate and the business climate locally; and pointed out that foreign investment has been on the increase since 2011 and is also projected to increase for 2015.

Successful Dominica Roadshow


Invest Dominica Authority (IDA) has successfully concluded its first targeted market outreach to increase Foreign Direct Investment outside of the Caribbean region.


A delegation led by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Paul Moses and the staff of the Invest Promotion Unit of the IDA recently met with 12 companies most of which were USA owned.


The outreach was part of a comprehensive project fully sponsored by Compete Caribbean and included various other elements: Staff training, sector development, technical support and design of new promotional brochures.  This recent mission was executed on April 20 - 24, 2015 and encompassed companies in Jamaica, Florida and Maryland.  The main sectors being targeted for investment are tourism and BPO/call centres.


The meetings allowed for both sharing of information and statistics on Dominica as well as a presentation of various slides to help understand the industries in Dominica and what opportunities are available, which may be of interest to the US companies as they consider expanding in the Caribbean.  


It is expected that at least two site visits from investors in the BPO and eco-tourism sectors will be facilitated over the coming months as a direct result of the meetings held in April. The Authority confirmed that one of the BPO companies is already in preliminary discussions with one of local BPO operators on island for possible partnership. The IDA also anticipates at least one decision to invest will be confirmed by one of these companies within the next fiscal year. The next roadshow to the USA to meet potential investors will take place in late June.


The authority expressed gratitude to Compete Caribbean and its donors: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Canada for facilitating this market outreach as this is the first of its kind for Dominica. This project is implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Caribbean's Road Map to Green Growth Strategies 

A green economy is one that focuses on the harmonious interaction between humans as well as nature and attempts to meet the needs of both simultaneously. 


Green development is thought of as a viable pathway towards sustainable growth and development. To move the green agenda forward, it is important to ensure that sufficient support is provided to the new businesses and industries that are likely to emerge.


But what businesses? Where does the Caribbean have a competitive advantage? This study uses historical data on trade activity to provide an assessment of various green businesses and their potential suitability to small island states in the Caribbean. 

Read More

Caribbean Policy Dialogue on Innovation, Science and Technology
Rethinking Productive Development Policies for the Caribbean

Low productivity growth seems to explain the relative stagnation of the Caribbean's GDP capita over time, particularly when compared to small countries outside the region.


As a result, a Regional Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation Workshop was convened in Barbados to discuss how to reshape productive development policy in the Caribbean on April 29 and 30, 2015. 

The two-day event used the findings of the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) "Rethinking Productive Development" 2014 volume as a backdrop against which to discuss the issue of productivity, competitiveness, technology and innovation in the region. 


Presentations at the forefront of the dialogue included: Productivity growth trends in the Caribbean, lessons learned from Bank instruments to stimulate productivity and innovation, as well as Caribbean-specific research and experiences on productive development, including Compete Caribbean as an example. 

Read More & View Presentations

Start-up Weekend to Improve Lives 

Trinidad Port of Spain, June 12-14


Do you have a great idea that will change the world for the better? Then, Startup Weekend to Improve Lives in Trinidad and Tobago is the place to launch it!
Startup Weekend to Improve Lives in Trinidad and Tobago is where you can pitch your idea, form a team, validate your concept, build your product, and present your work to a panel of well-qualified and experienced judges - all in just 54 hours! This transformative event will be co-sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).   


The IDB -- through the Demand Solutions Model -- is seeking to foster a culture of innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean that will encourage new approaches towards addressing development challenges, while generating an active dialogue on innovation, creativity, and calculated risk-taking. The IDB's Demand Solutions Model is based on "Open Innovation" and relies on using internal and external paths and ideas to develop new solutions. Our strategy is to connect every innovation activity into one participative model for all IDB components. The Demand Solutions model is designed to accelerate the process of improving lives.   

The winning ideas will be awarded the opportunity of becoming part of the REACH Caribbean Innovation Competition (CIC), a regional contest and business start-up accelerator for innovative ideas with commercialization potential. The CIC will be launched in the summer of 2015. With financing from the IDB's Regional Public Goods Initiative, the REACH Project aims to strengthen the business commercialization capacity of competitively selected Caribbean entrepreneurs and firms and is being executed by the University of the West Indies in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization, Compete Caribbean, Caribbean Tales, and the Young Americas Business Trust.


For more information about the agenda, speakers, mentors and the topics during Startup Weekend to Improve Lives in Trinidad and Tobago. Learn More
A Compete Caribbean team visited Haiti in May to observe the six projects the program supports in that country: Potable Water, Green Housing, Cook Stoves, Castor Oil Derivatives, Solar Pay-As-You-Go Electricity and Banana Production.

In the upcoming editions, we will share the progress of our Haiti projects through video and print stories. In this issue, we give you a mini-pictorial.

Consultancy                                                  Caribbean Geological                                    Opportunities                                               Conference Report                               

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