Setting the Infrastructural Climate for Investment

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Progress is being madeIn every country the ongoing thrust to increase inward investment and develop economies exists. This goal is pursued in Dominica through the role of Invest Dominica Authority whereby attracting investment is pivotal. The Authority has the ability to execute investment strategies and modern marketing techniques as part of their plan, but this must be supported by other elements. One of these is the right infrastructure which is necessary to provide a solid business environment for investors. Business infrastructure refers not only to physical factors like roads, bridges and ports. Several other elements like legislation, policies, business processes and systems are also key factors which provide the appropriate climate for investors and the various investment processes.

During the last few years, Dominica has seen tremendous improvements in various elements of the business climate and infrastructure. A road rehabilitation program began a few years ago and is ongoing; this includes the building of several new bridges. The roads which accommodate the most traffic to the two towns and main airport were fully rehabilitated. The runway for the airport was extended and a new airport terminal was built. Plans are on stream for improvements to the main sea port. In addition to this, the Reform Management Unit has spearheaded a massive reform project for various Government processes and polices. This included improving the performance and enhancing trade processes at ports and customs through the introduction of the ASYCUDA World System, modernizing of several areas in the Public Administrative System and increasing access to legal and judiciary systems. It also covers the general streamlining of regulations and procedures relating to private sector activities and redefining the role of the public sector outside of the government, to realign it towards the requirements of private sector-led growth.

To date the ASYCUDA World System is fully utilized and focused on a more improved customs clearance system. Hence, investors who import goods can benefit from time saved when clearing goods. The E-filing system for taxes has been launched and taxpayers are now using the system. The Registry is in the final stages of being fully computerised and users are already experiencing the ease of registering a business in one day, computerized certificates and less time spent in land and property registration. A judge was contracted solely for the Masters Court and this allows for matters to be heard in quicker time when required. Overall, the island has seen improvements in several areas and all of these provide a more conducive business climate. Over the next year, more of the reform efforts will be manifested.

It is the hope of the Authority that this will translate into higher ratings on the Doing Business Report which is produced annually by the World Bank. Invest Dominica Authority applauds the efforts of everyone and every department involved in improving the business climate in Dominica.

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