Jack Straw reaffirms investment in the Caribbean

Ben Kilbey

Montego Bay
There is noise in the Caribbean of a new tax incentive to encourage the growth of attractions in the region. The ten year tax break will give investors the flexibility they need to take the opportunity to invest. Speaking at CHTIC Simon Suarez, President CHA, talked of improving ‘the hotel and tourism investment climate.’
Mr. Suarez went on to discuss; “A fundamental step is a major review of tourism taxation in the Caribbean, particularly to take account of our industry’s competitiveness.” He went onto note the importance of CARICOM.

“Two years ago British Prime Minister and the Foreign Ministers of CARICOM agreed on a conference on security and trade issues, hosted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Subsequently in November 2003 the Foreign and Commonwealth office mounted a workshop on Caribbean Tourism with the CHA and CTO.”

The main objective of this workshop was to better understand how Caribbean Tourism relates to European Policy. Also how tourism can be made more central to the political, economic and development policy dialogue ‘between all European Union capitals, the European Commission and the Caribbean.’

Mr. Suarez was delighted to announce “that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has now confirmed it’s intention to help fund the preparation of the prospectus for CHA’s Caribbean Tourism Investment fund.”

He went on to note that at a CHA delegation in London this week Jack Straw reaffirmed this notion and made a formal announcement at the conferences opening. He indicated that this is a big step for further investment in the Caribbean region.

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“This is the first step to getting adequate capital mobilised within the Caribbean for financing with a view to making projects attractive to international financial institutions.”

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