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NDC to Play Greater Role in Spurring On Local Investment

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - Word from the National Development Corporation (NDC) is that it intends to play a lead role in helping revitalize and spur on private sector investment in the country. O’Donnavan Yarde of the NDC’s Project Management Unit says the new thrust is due partly because local investors have failed to take advantage of the Corporation’s expertise, viewing it as being exclusively devoted to foreign investment.

“The NDC is an investment promotion and facilitation organization that includes local as well as foreign,” Yarde said. “We see our role as being a bridge between foreign interests and local, whether it be connecting our local businesses with market information, technical assistance or funding and therefore it’s more of a service that we are providing so that our local business sector can become more informed as to the opportunities that are available internationally.”

Yarde says the new thrust of the NDC will however stay clear of duplicating the work of other agencies established to assist private sector firms in a technical way. The Corporation, meantime held a one day forum on “Equity and Non Traditional Business Financing”, designed to assist local entrepreneurs in reviewing their business policies, bringing about a change in their business management and delivery.

In the words of the Corporation’s General Manager Wayne Vitalis, “what we have found over the years is that local business persons have been inquiring of the NDC ways and means by which they can source financing for their businesses. On the other hand we have received a number of requests from overseas providers of funds expressing interests in investing in specific projects in St. Lucia. A lot of people when they think of foreign investment think of an investor setting up business here, creating a few jobs with local retailers and other businesses benefiting from that. However another form of foreign investment we must consider is being able to attract finance from overseas in order to grow our local business.”

The forum, was held on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 and brought together a number of regional based finance houses particularly from Trinidad and Tobago along with several US based Information Technology (IT) investors.


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