February 29, 2008
Junior Minister responsible for Trade and Industry, Hon. Dwight Cozier, supported the Amended Investment Improvement Agency Bill which was passed, in the Nevis Island Assembly, on Thursday 28th February 2008.
The Nevis Investment Promotion Agency (NIPA) Ordinance 2008 would encourage increased investment provided by a solid legal framework designed for investor’s protection and for their understanding of the relevant laws of Nevis.
Mr. Cozier gave credit to the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) for its committed support for Private Sector Investment and described the previous legislation as one which did not address the needs of Nevis.
“The old Act of 1987 did not address Nevis. It assumed that both islands would choose to undertake Invest Promotion’s jointly. However, the new Initiative provided effective policy and a regulatory framework for separate Investment Code and Legislation for both Islands; he said the Bill provided an avenue for business to be conducted more easily.”
The Minister stated that the NIPA resulted from the recognisable need for embedded flexibility, for Nevis to pursue its investment promotion independently, jointly or through cooperation, mainly for private and public sector members.
According to Mr. Cozier the Bill was also enacted to address, “the heightened interest by hotel investors to capitalise on safe destination trends of the United States and European countries; increase competition by regional governments interested in attracting tourists and discretionary concessions handed to investors that impacted government revenues,” Mr. Cozier said.
The NIPA would function to maximise the economic development of Nevis and maintained high performance standards. It would be linked to government and would become the engine that drove the island’s economic growth.
Mr. Cozier said the NIPA would increase integrity and accountability in public life. He reflected on the budget presented last December, which he said stated that the NIA commissioned an internal Audit, which would bring credibility to the economy of Nevis, as the government pursued investment from investors who understood the importance of corporate governance in any organisation.
Clause19 and 20, of the Bill, would provide for the audited and reported requirements for the NIPA.
He said the new NIPA spelled out the rules for the game, for investors on important issues which would require strict guidelines.
The Minister accredited the Organization of American States ((OAS) and guidelines provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Caribbean Open Trade Support programme (COTS) for the new initiative launched.