ISL launches iGuide project
Thursday, December 6, 2018
by Janelle Norville, GIS

Potential investors to Saint Lucia are now better able to navigate their intent with the introduction of an online investment guide.

Invest Saint Lucia (ISL), with the assistance of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies is implementing the guide, which provides information on the procedures for starting a business.

Invest Saint Lucia on Wednesday, officially launched the Investment Guide or iGuide Project. iGuides provide investors with up-to-date information on business costs, opportunities and conditions in developing countries online. They are designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Chamber of Commerce and are developed jointly with governments and agencies at their request.

Invest Saint Lucia’s Investment Promotion and Fulfillment Manager, Alana Lansiquot-Brice, highlighted the timeliness of the project.

“As part of our role of promoting Saint Lucia as an investment destination as well as facilitating investment one of the crucial services that we have to provide is the provision of correct and timely information to persons that are interested in our country,” she explained. “So we see the IGuide as augmenting this and enhancing the service delivery. Essentially persons will be able to access this guide from anywhere around the world without having to search through multiple online sources to get information on maybe how to secure a construction permit or maybe how they go about hiring persons. So they will be able to search the IGuide globally, they don’t necessarily have to download a full lengthy document from a website and then search through that document manually to obtain information on investing in Saint Lucia.”

Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) is providing assistance on the project. The Association’s mandate consists of promoting and positioning countries for investment. CAIPA’s Senior Advisor for Investment Promotion Suzette Hudson indicated that under the Regional Investment Promotion Strategy the Association is focused on promoting the Caribbean and all it has to offer.

“Within that strategy we’ve identified proactive sectors for promotion across the region. We’ve also identified the need to communicate to investors about the Caribbean. It’s amazing investors will know about the Caribbean but they won’t necessarily know about the individual territories in the Caribbean. What we want to do, we want to make sure that the Caribbean Region is so promoted that investors will then, once they’ve chosen the Caribbean over South America or China, once they’ve chosen our region then we’ll say ok let me figure out which island or which territory in the Caribbean I will invest. That has been our approach so that is the other element of our strategy. The final element of our strategy where this project falls is doing business. It’s business advocacy, policy and creating the right environment for investors to come in.”

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will meet with the various ministries and stakeholders to see the project to fruition. UNCTAD’s Economist Ian Richards explained the particulars of the iGuide.

“The investment guide covers a number of areas, not just how to set up a company but also what kind of licenses you need to get depending on what you do, how to pay taxes and what those tax rates are, what kind of skills are available in the country, typical wage expectations typical contract rules, national insurance, how to get work permits if you need to bring in managers from abroad, also about the infrastructure existing in the country, rules about acquiring or renting lands for your project, what is the legal framework, what kind of access you have to foreign markets and also what are the opportunities. In this case in particular we’re looking at opportunities, in tourism, in manufacturing and also in the higher value added in reference to agriculture.”

The iGuide is expected to be completed by February 2019.