The majority of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) globally have been pressing on with their operations, through technology enabled online platforms, during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This is according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in their recently released advisory report, The IPA Observer – Investment Promotion and Facilitating Monitor Special Issue 8 titled, Investment Promotion Agencies: Striving to Overcome the Covid-19 Challenge.
Invest Barbados made this transition smoothly, with most of its staff working remotely. In so doing, Invest Barbados continues to extend quality services to investors, potential investors and service providers. This practice is in line with the Barbados Government’s policies to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and advice from the World Health Organization.
On April 7, 2020, UNCTAD held an online brainstorming session on early actions taken in relation to Covid-19, with heads of IPAs, IPA associations and deputy Ministers of Investment from over 20 countries. Invest Barbados participated in the online session, which was designed to identify challenges and opportunities, exchange best practices, and discuss the way forward. The advisory report for the session indicated that although the Covid-19 pandemic has seemingly disrupted countries and businesses globally, in terms of direct investment flows and possible earning revisions for the top 5,000 multinational enterprises for 2020, to name a few, there are still a number of positives that have emerged.
Some of these positives include the:
• proactive approaches of IPAs as well as how quickly they are catching up and developing innovative means to reach their clients
• lasting effect which the support and preparedness of IPAs throughout the crisis may have on investors
• likely review and update of IPAs’ value propositions and target sectors for enhanced investment attraction; and
• renewed emphasis on collaboration and global exchange of best practices among IPAs.
The advisory report also noted that, “UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise will continue to provide regular updates to support the investment community during these challenging times.”
As the business and investment community carefully navigates the passage through this unprecedented global crisis, Invest Barbados will continue to work collaboratively with IPAs, associations and other relevant stakeholders to closely monitor and implement best practice solutions for our current and future clients.