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Thursday, May 18, 2006 

Investment by Invitation

Posted by Times News on 2006/5/18 21:16:59

Tourism Minister Yvor Nassief wants government to strengthen its policy relating to foreign investment in Dominica to make it less bureaucratic and cut down on ‘red tape’ in the system.Mr Nassief told a news conference in Roseau recently that the issue of foreign investment in Dominica is a very challenging one and dealing with it “is like dealing with a mine field."
“You are never quite sure who you dealing with and where you are stepping. “It is fair to say that nine of out of ten people who come here as foreign investors are well intentioned, people looking for opportunities, but do not have the resources to deliver and taking up the project which they speak about.
“That ties up a lot time of the Ministers of the government machinery,” he told Journalists in response to a question about the red tape that many foreign investors face when setting up business in Dominica.Although admitting that a lot of bone fide investors have established business through that process, Mr Nassief describes it as very passive approach, suggesting that there must be a change in approach.“To notch up the level of foreign investments we have to move away from being passive and become more pro-active.
“We have to adopt what I would call, an investment by invitation. Rather than waiting we go out and identify who is it we want to come here and who is it that fits the profile of Dominica” Nassief said
Mr Nassief explained that there were several tourism projects on the drawing board but he could not disclose the names of the potential investors.
“We have three or four international renowned hotel operators who we are in direct contact with, who have been here who have seen the sites. Once the joint ventures are signed, they will then engage the parties in the join ventures,” he said.
Mr Nassief said the country’s requirements for investments are no different than any other island but it is a question of timeliness and transparency."
There is a lot of work to be done in that regard and that brings squarely on the issue of NDC and reform of the NDC.
“To the extent the process is not transparent is not a failure of the NDC but is probably the failure on policy direction from government as to what we want the NDC to do,” Mr Nassief said.

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