BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 26, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Stakeholders from across the Caribbean region are currently in St. Kitts and Nevis attending a three-day seminar that seeks to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to attract and benefit from investment in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related sectors through enhanced investment facilitation.
The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
This week’s seminar, which is being held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort from November 26-28, is being facilitated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in collaboration with the European Union (EU), the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA).
Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards addressed the opening of the important regional seminar. The honourable deputy prime minister stated that the ability of Small Island Developing States to attract foreign direct investments is often hindered by several economic challenges such as high transport cost and trading costs.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards cited the findings of the 2019 UNCTAD World Investment Report, which stated that foreign direct investment in Small Island Developing States remains fragile and dependent on few capital intensive projects in construction, as well as the hotel and tourism sectors.
As such, the deputy prime minister said, “Priority areas for attracting foreign direct investment inflows should therefore entail health and nutrition, food and agriculture, among other high impact areas for sustainability. Attracting investments in health and nutrition, food and agriculture would specifically target the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG #1, which speaks to poverty, #2 which speaks to zero hunger, and #3 which speaks to good health and wellbeing.”
Minister Richards said what is needed in the region is greater focus on impact investing, which he described as investments that have the expressed intention of generating a measurable, positive social or environmental impact, in addition to a financial return.
He added, “Impact investments promote sustainability, specifically towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Areas of discussion that will be covered over the next three days include fostering business linkages for the Sustainable Development Goals, facilitating investment financing in SDG projects and reform of the International Investment Agreements (IIAs) regime.