Thursday, December 03, 2009

SVG Urges Taiwan Invest

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Officials from St. Vincent and Grenadines (SVG), one of Taiwan's Caribbean allies, called on companies in Taiwan Thursday to invest in their country and explore its wide range of business opportunities in areas ranging from information communications technology (ICT), to renewable energy and tourism.

The delegation from Invest SVG, a government investment promotion agency, made the appeal at a seminar in Taipei, saying that SVG could serve as springboard for Taiwanese companies to tap into the markets of the Caribbean, Latin American and North America.

"Don't think of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as your only market, think of the world as your market and St. Vincent and Grenadines as your access point," said Cleo Huggins, executive director of Invest SVG.

Huggins said the delegation's visit is aimed at extending the longstanding relationship between her country and Taiwan, attracting foreign direct investment from Taiwan and helping Taiwanese companies explore business opportunities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which she described as having a "strong, vibrant and growing" investment climate.

It is an excellent time for Taiwan to capitalize on the investment opportunities in a wide range of business sectors such as agro-processing, light manufacturing, international financial services, ICT industries and tourism development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, according to Huggins.

The country has a sound regulatory framework, political and economic stability, high educational standards and a skilled labor force of 63,000 people, and offers various attractive incentives from tax exemption to freedom to repatriate funds and the right to own property, she added.
Shirla Francis, director of Invest SVG and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Telecommunications of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said that Taiwan, with its world reputation for a strong ICT industry, should explore business opportunities in SVG in areas such as development of computer applications for both the public and private sectors, mobile phones repairs, computer programming, management of information systems and IT security and management.

"ICT is the platform on which sustainable economic development is attainable, as it acts as an enabler in all sectors of the economy, and SVG recognizes that partnerships with our friends can help us achieve an sustainable economy," Francis said.

"I hope the businesses in Taiwan will see the opportunities that SVG, as a small Caribbean island, has to offer. I do warmly invite you to explore some of those opportunities," she added.

Taiwan and SVG have had unbroken diplomatic ties for 29 years.

(By Rachel Chan)