Caribbean inefficiencies seen as fertile environment for serious investors

Dear Editor,

Jamaican entrepreneur Michael Lee Chin, Founder and Chairman of Portland Holdings, Inc. Wednesday outlined a menu of incentives which provide for successful foreign investment in the Caribbean region (CARICOM) but also warned of a menu of shortcomings with which investors must be prepared to deal. Many of these shortcomings however, he said, are being addressed in several countries in the region.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 41st annual Conference on the Caribbean and Central America, the businessman identified as among the major attractions for investing in the region “a treasure trove of inefficiencies” which he explained provided a fertile environment for serious investors “to come in and help raise the levels of efficiency”. He said that there are lucrative investment and joint venture opportunities available particularly in the area of import substitution.

Lee Chin also identified the natural resources to be found in the Caribbean, medical tourism, high end information and communication technology including digitization, privatization of government assets coupled with close proximity to the US and convenient time zones as a combination which makes the Caribbean a great location for investment.

But he also presented a menu of shortcomings- corruption, lawlessness, political interference, among others, which he said were not necessarily deterrents to successfully investing, but which investors needed to be aware of. He said many of the shortcomings are being addressed and would be eventually brought under control, particularly if investors are not party to the corruption and lawlessness.

Lee Chin said that like in many other regions, Caribbean politicians do not know how to create wealth nor do they have a merit-based way of distributing wealth. Hence he pointed to the need for every country in the Caribbean to have in place a national economic council made up exclusively of private sector and civil society representatives that would meet at least quarterly with the highest functionaries in government and the political opposition to analyze and chart a course for the development of the country. Lee Chin heads the national economic council in Jamaica which he says has served as a buffer zone in which the politicians on both sides agree not to fight on partisan political issues but rather agree on a blueprint for national development. These councils are necessary he said since “for the most part politicians are not fit and proper for creating wealth and therefore these buffer zones are necessary. They can take their political fights outside this buffer zone so as not to negatively impact their economies.”

He also pointed to the need for foreign investors to ensure that they contribute to wealth creation in the region by reinvesting most of their profits in their business operations through expansion, diversification and value added.

Yours faithfully,

Wesley Kirton

Comments  

I resigned as non-executive director of Bank of Guyana in August 2017 and up to that point the matter of a signing bonus had not been taken to the Board

Dear Editor, I refer to an article in yesterday’s Sunday Stabroek entitled `Laws broken in handling of Exxon signing bonus, Chris Ram says’ in which Mr.

Sugar industry is an example of how the two political parties have been destroying Guyana

Dear Editor, If there continues to be any doubt that Government cannot run commercial businesses and that the socialist formula of nationalization is disastrous, one need only look at Guyana’s experience.

The PM should visit the sugar belt

Dear Editor, Prime Minister and First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo writing in the December 3, Guyana Chronicle spent a great deal of his column entitled ‘Different strategy in changing times’ on the sugar industry.

Gov’t handling of signing bonus shows inexperience, incompetence

Dear Editor, My initial thinking is that the coalition government’s handling, if not bungling of the signing bonus with ExxonMobil results from inexperience if not incompetence, rather than a desire to be corrupt.

Assertion by City PRO that I did not seek to bring my record up to date is quite untrue

Dear Editor, I note a letter from Ms Debra Lewis, PRO of the City Council under the headline – `City ratepayers should have paid increase from July 1’ – in SN of Saturday, December 9. 

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×