A multi-donor private sector development program financed by

Compete Caribbean To Host Distinguished Speaker Series

The series, entitled “Conversations on Growth”, begins tomorrow, Thursday, July 21, with a special discussion on attracting investment in Barbados. Mr. David O’Donovan, an Irish investment promotion expert, will speak on the topic “Successful Cases in Investment Promotion: Learning from Ireland, Malaysia, and Costa Rica.” The venue is the Conference Room of the Savannah Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church. Starting time is 3 p.m.“Through the “Conversations on Growth” series, we are hoping to inform and enhance the debate on private sector development in the Caribbean. We will bring the world’s top minds, from inside and outside the Caribbean, to share their experiences as agents of change and growth,” says Jose Jorge Saavedra, Executive Director ofCompete Caribbean.He adds: “The opportunities for private sector development in the Caribbean are vast. At Compete Caribbean, we are focused on working with governments and the private sector to create an enabling environment where businesses can thrive. We see “Conversations on Growth” as a natural extension of this mission.”
To share the experience of Barbados at Thursday’s inaugural event, Emeline Taitt, Director of the Investment Promotion and Facilitation Division at Invest Barbados, will present a synopsis of Barbados’ record with respect to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). She will also identify challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.
Mr. O’Donovan, the keynote speaker, spent much of his career with the Industrial Development Agency (IDA), the Irish Government’s investment promotion body. There, he worked to attract foreign direct investment to Ireland and helped to build a stronger base of Irish indigenous companies including start-ups and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).
After leaving IDA in 2001, Mr. O’Donovan became an independent investment promotion consultant. In this role, he completed a number of strategic investment promotion consulting and training assignments in the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and India.
Distinguished speakers in the “Conversation on Growth” series will be policymakers, academics, and private sector leaders with a history as agents of change, promoters of innovation, and stimulators of economic growth.
The audience at Thursday’s discussion is expected to include leading representatives from Barbados’ public and private sectors, including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Trade & Foreign Affairs, Central Bank of Barbados, Invest Barbados, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and the Barbados International Business Association.
Other notable invitees also include regional donors and organizations like the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the European Union (EU) and Caribbean Export.
The entire “Conversations on Growth” series will be stored online on Compete Caribbean’s website (www.competecaribbean.org) for future viewing. After the Barbados launch, the other countries involved in Compete Caribbean will have an opportunity to host future discussions as the series continues.
Located within the Barbados Country Office of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Compete Caribbean is a US$40 million programme benefitting Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, The Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Kitts & Nevis, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago.
The IDB, in partnership with DFID and CIDA, established Compete Caribbean to provide technical assistance and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and SME development activities. CIDA and DFID have together contributed the lion’s share of US$32.55 million.
NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS: You are invited to cover this event.
Contact: Tara Lisa Persaud
Knowledge Management Coordinator
Compete Caribbean
Inter-American Development Bank
Mervue House, Marine Gardens
Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados BB1000
Tel: 246-227-8547. Fax: 246-429-8869
Email: tarap@iadb.org

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