Invest SVG to adopt new strategies going forward
Invest SVG plays an important role in the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) therefore employees must be adept at their jobs.
With this in mind, the organization, responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and strengthening export capacity, has embarked on institutional strengthening and capacity building through a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded project.
The project was launched virtually last Thursday, and according to Chairman of the board of directors of Invest SVG Anthony Regisford, a project of this nature is timely as Invest SVG is an important entity operating in a time when we are facing different and challenging times because of COVID-19.
Regisford said now is the time for a pause as we rethink and look at how we can adopt a new strategy going forward.
“We can’t sleep and we can’t go under our beds and hide or not turn up for work as a pandemic is going on,” Regisford said while noting that in some areas, things have slowed down and some projects that Invest SVG is facilitating are moving slower because people can’t come and go as freely as they like.
“We know the pandemic will not be with us forever and it is a good time as any for Invest SVG to plan for the period beyond the pandemic,” Regisford said while adding that staff welcomes the training.
Commenting at the launch, Executive Director of Invest SVG Annette Mark noted that to be truly competitive as we continue to feel the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to have an effective development strategy with invest promotion and export development at its centre has become even more important.
“This development agenda will have to take into account a wide range of factors,” Mark said while noting that they will look at challenges, including SVG being a multi island nation and the cost of establishing infrastructure through multiple islands and the impact of climate change to name a few.
She noted that notwithstanding these challenges the government of SVG continues to chart a course for sustainable development as outlined in the country’s economic development plan and charting a new direction and building capacity of the staff at Invest SVG to execute a new vision to fit the new global realities is important.
“The new vision will position Invest SVG as a central institutional pillar in the state administration to promote and attract foreign direct investment to the country as well as develop and promote export competitiveness,” Mark said.
She noted that to achieve this, the organization needs to be reinvented into a modern trade and investment promotion organization with a clear mandate, vision and governance structure supported by a legal framework to back up operations in an effort to develop the key sectors into main drivers of economic growth in the country.
“Having a transformative strategic plan and emerging from this an effective organizational structure that is properly resourced will go a far way in transforming Invest SVG into a world class trade and investment promotional organization,” Mark said.
She said the CDB grant is timely and important as they have limited resources. She noted also that the training will have a positive impact on trade and investment.
She added also that Invest SVG requires investment, especially in human resource development, to deliver its new mandate and she is happy to announce that the CDB has approved the request to help with building the capacity in two main areas, including the development of a five-year strategic plan.
This plan will lend definition to the direction that the organization should travel and will assist in setting realistic objectives and goals in keeping with the agency’s mission and vision.
“We already recognize the need for core training in export development but equally important is training in investment promotion to reacquaint the staff with fundamentals and also to introduce new investment promotion techniques, especially in the area of investment targeting,” Mark said.
The training is expected to be completed in May 2021 and the consultant is Chris McNair.
The launch also heard from Daniel Best, CDB’s director of projects and minister of finance Camillo Gonsalves.