The Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has signed two Memorandum of Understanding’s (MOU’s) aimed at strengthening collaborations with the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB).
GIDC, which will this year mark its 30th anniversary, is responsible for creating and stimulating private, domestic and foreign investment in all sectors of Grenada.
The MOU’s was initiated by the GIDC as the organisation seeks to strengthen the country’s investment climate in tourism and agribusiness, which are significant areas of focus going forward according to GIDC Acting CEO, Ronald Theodore.
The three state entities marked their commitment to this cause with the official signing of respective MOU’s on February 11, at GIDC’s conference room, Frequente, St George.
Theodore, who signed both MOU’s on behalf of GIDC, said these are the two sectors “for which greater emphasis would be placed, both domestically and through foreign investment.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Rudy Grant, who signed the agreement on GTA’s behalf said, although GIDC is principally involved in investment and the GTA as a tourism destination marketing entity, there are many areas where both bodies can collaborate to maximise on their resources.
“GIDC engages on a regular basis in trade shows and road shows, as does the GTA,” an avenue from where much can be derived “for joint marketing activities to promote the island as an investment and tourism destination,” Grant noted as he expounded upon the many areas of benefits for both entities.
Grant also described the initiative as a “critical one at this time” especially, as the entities are dependent “to some extent” on Government funding and support.
“In a time when there are significant economic and financial challenges it makes good sense for state enterprises to deepen their cooperation because at the end of the day the resources are coming from the same source,” he added.
The areas of cooperation between GIDC and GTA include the development of promotional material and opportunity profiles within the tourism sector; to seek donor funding (where necessary) to implement projects that promote innovation and creativity in tourism products and processes aimed at creating competitive advantages within the tourism sector.
The others are targeted at enhancing the capabilities, competencies and effectiveness of enterprises operating within the tourism sector; as well as encourage the development of indigenous tourism products at quality standards, establish sustainable linkages between tourism and other priority sectors for investment and share ideas, knowledge and experience in promotion from a tourism and investment perspective.
According to Grant, it makes good sense “for us to be collaborating because we are able to strengthen and enhance what both entities do in the global market space”.
“This MOU also provides the opportunity for there to be greater destination development, “Grant said, citing “investment” as a critical component in tourism development.
Meanwhile, GCIC and MNIB have agreed to collaborate in a number of areas such as developing opportunity profiles within the agribusiness sector, market the services of the respective institutions including through website links and distribution of promotional material, the sharing of information on agricultural production data and potential export markets for which persons within the agri-business sector can exploit; and the execution of seminars aimed at providing information to SMEs on potential markets and export requirements.
They also agreed to co-operate in terms of establishing buyer/seller contacts between the MNIB and clients of GIDC; share facilities (training rooms, cold storage and processing facilities) as necessary and in keeping with the rules and regulations of each institution and to develop, seek donor funding (where necessary) and implement projects that would promote innovation, creativity and foster competitive advantages within the agribusiness sector; enhance the capabilities, competencies and effectiveness of enterprises operating within the agri-business sector; encourage the development of indigenous agri-business products at quality standards and establish sustainable linkages between agri-business and other priority sectors for investment.
MNIB General Manager, Ruel Edwards, referred to the agreement as in keeping with several aspects of the company’s 6-year strategic plan launched in 2014.
“The strategic plan focuses on five key areas mainly -improvement in the local produce supply, export development, agro-processing development, a meat industry and institutional strengthening. As we looked at our plan we came to the conclusion that it collaborated with GIDC and we highlighted a number of areas where working together would bring tremendous benefits,” he said.
Edwards placed on record MNIB’s commitment to implementing the initiative.
“We are fully committed and passionate about this and we also sense the passion of the GIDC and the leadership they have provided,” to make the MOU a reality, he added.
The MOUs are expected to help GIDC fulfill its mandate of stimulating and facilitating the development of industries throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
Additionally, they are expected to help leverage the development of proposals and the implementation of initiatives to the benefit of the entities involved and by extension the country as a whole.