The Invest Dominica Authority (IDA) is taking several initiatives as part of efforts to increase foreign direct investment. Dominica hosted a delegation of around thirty representatives of French companies from Martinique and Guadeloupe. During the period June 12-17, several events and meetings will be organized to orient delegates on doing business in Dominica and engage the local business community for investment and partnership opportunities.
A Home Investment Mission Welcome Ceremony was held on Monday, June 13 at the Jungle Bay Resort and Spa. The reception also showcased some of Dominica’s products. Products from Benjo’s Seamoss, The Kalinago Territory Woven Baskets, Nature’s Blends, Café La Ville, Jolly’s Manufacturing, Layou Park Nature Farms and Bee Natural.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business and Export Development, Ms. Margaret Roudette-Baptiste said that the government, through the Ministry of Commerce, fully endorses the mission of domestic investment. She says trade is seen as the main catalyst for productivity and growth.
“The Commonwealth of Dominica seeks to strengthen and diversify its commercial relations with regional and bilateral partners. The closer the proximity at this time, the better, as we seek to mitigate food safety issues and supply chain disruptions that are wreaking havoc on our citizens’ ability to easily access products. healthy and affordable,” she said.
Permanent Secretary Roudette-Baptiste says the ease of improving foreign investment relations is cemented by the many similarities between these countries.
“Commercial relations between our islands are enhanced by an Economic Partnership Agreement which creates the legal platform to strengthen preferential trade. Beyond our traditional historic relationships, we have worked hard to secure these arrangements and this must remain of paramount importance to us. The Ministry of Commerce takes pride in the collection, collation and analysis of data that guides our decision-making process,” the SP explained.
Dominica has always had good trade relations with the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
“From the period 2016 to the first quarter of 2022, Dominica imported 7.2 million products from Martinique and 42.6 million from Guadeloupe,” added PS Roudette-Baptiste.
From this same period of 2016 to the first quarter of 2022, the value of exports from Dominica to Guadeloupe amounts to eighty-six thousand eight hundred and eighty-six EC dollars, while the value of exports from Martinique is forty-three thousand one hundred and thirty-six EC dollars.
“We are extremely proud of our monthly container of passion fruit pulp from Dominica and Guadeloupe. It’s actually a good step in the right direction when it comes to the sustainability of supplying a value-added product. I congratulate DEXIA for this one and would like to express my gratitude to the Guadeloupean importer for the opportunity to supply them with the passion fruit pulp. Participants, note that our interest is not simply to exchange goods; we also appreciate the opportunity created by the economic partnership agreement for commercial services, and for the opportunity between the islands of this agreement,” added PS Roudette-Baptiste.
The vice-president of the Dominican Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) Mr. Brenton Hilaire is happy to welcome the French partners to Dominica.
“Your presence is an extremely important contribution to the expansion of our bilateral trade relations. It is also important for strengthening partnerships between our countries and building our economies. The Dominic Association of Industry and Commerce is pleased to be a partner in this endeavor to ensure valuable relationships with potential business partners, customers and even build friendships,” said Mr. Hilaire.
Mr. Hilaire then introduced Dominica as the right place for business ventures.
“Dominica is ideal for doing business in the Eastern Caribbean as we are conveniently located between the two countries and offer a mature investment environment as we develop key infrastructure such as our international airport and geothermal power plant. We have all been impacted by the coronavirus, but we believe missions like these and the connections that will be formed this week are mutually beneficial in tackling the challenges of this pandemic,” Mr. Hilaire noted.
The President of the International Commission of the Chamber of Commerce of Martinique, Mr. Pablo Rosine is one of the delegates to this mission.
“I am convinced that we have a lot to share. Our intelligence, knowledge and experience to create win-win situations for successful business will help us keep growing together. We often tend to look to the US and Europe when we can find what we’re looking for next door. I see a lot of potential in Dominica for Martinique and Dominican companies can find potential in Martinique. I am thinking in particular of Agriculture, agro-industry, the fishing industry, but also of ETC, solar materials and digital marketing,” said Mr. Rosine.
Meanwhile, Mr. Christopher Louis, an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Islands of Guadeloupe, says that Dominica has been a historical supplier of citrus fruits and vegetables to French Guadeloupe since the 1970s.
Honorary Consul, Mr. Hervé Nizard also delivered a speech during the reception. He told the French partners that Dominica has much more to offer than just being a customer.
“Dominica is the best key to other OECS and CARICOM countries. Dominica is a neighbor between Dominica and Guadeloupe. Dominica speaks Creole. Dominica has exactly the same roots as a lot of French islands and I think we should probably take advantage of that and see more Dominicans as potential partners to develop trade with CARICOM, with the OECS than just customers,” said noted Mr. Nizard. .
IDA’s strategies will place a strong emphasis on attracting investment in manufacturing and agribusiness, organic agriculture, knowledge, and the digital sector as potential investment opportunities. Investment in ecotourism accommodation and related services will also be presented during the mission.