What do we want and what do we expect. It is often posited that the Diaspora is an untapped market with lots of potential for investment into the economy. We in Dominica look at India, Africa and closer to home. Jamaica has put in place a plan to attract these overseas residents, as they like to be referred to in the Dominica context. Dominica is following the path of putting things in place to attract the Returning Residents, not only for vacation and retirement, but to invest in private sector enterprises. The real question is: are these overseas residents prepared to invest in private sector enterprise, where the bottom line is either profit or loss. It would be interesting to see the result of a poll which asks the one specific question – “Are you as an overseas resident willing and able to invest in Dominica” The only answer we need is a simple YES or NO.
It is important to note that not all “Overseas Residents” are potential or serious investors. Therefore, we need to determine who are the serious investors, in what area they are willing to invest and then we need to strategize, as to how we can make this happen. An investor, whether “Overseas Resident” or not will be guided by the basic 101 of business – to maximize profits. Whilst it may be easier to persuade the “overseas resident” due to their emotional ties to consider Dominica as an investment, this by itself will not be sufficient for them to invest.
The Diaspora of India invests in India, not because of ethnic and emotional ties, but rather because India has a large domestic market where their goods and services can be sold. One may argue that it is because of the investment by the Diaspora that the market is growing. Fair argument, but let’s not rule out the FDI and India’s population which makes the cost of labour very inexpensive.
What therefore can Dominica build on? The opportunities in geothermal which will in the near future decrease the cost of producing electricity, a domestic market that includes CARICOM, skilled labour force and an environment which is ideal for the future green and sustainable investments.
Investing is a dedicated process, which requires time and effort. This is understandable, because if you are going to invest your monies, it is because you believe that you will make a profit. You have either of three options: return and see to your investment, stay in your country of residence and let your friend/family see to your investment, or purchase shares in an existing or potential business and share in the management and profit and loss of the business.
The first and third options may be the ones that can yield a better success rate. There are a number of investment options for Overseas Residents; the decision is yours.
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