World Bank: ProNicaragua excels as others slack

(posted May 21, 12:15 p.m.)- Nicaragua’s investment-promotion agency, ProNicaragua, which was recently named the world’s top investment facilitator, has given Nicaragua’s economy a competitive edge at a time when most of the world’s investment-promotion agencies are slacking off, according to World Bank statement released Sunday.

According to the World Bank Group, 80% of the world’s investment-promotion agencies’ efforts are falling short by failing to respond to investor inquiries in the key sectors of agribusiness and tourism.

The World Bank Group’s Global Investment Promotion Best Practices 2012 report, which assessed 189 economies’ responsiveness to investors, found that most investment-promotion agencies are less responsive to direct investor inquiries than they were three years ago.

Nicaragua, however, is one of the few exceptions, the report says. And the proof is in the pudding, with 91% growth in foreign-direct investment last year.

“In difficult times, governments may be tempted to cut funding for investment promotion. However, this can cost them opportunities to secure investments and jobs,” said Pierre Guislain, Director of the Bank Group’s Investment Climate Department. “Skilled investment promotion agencies can give economies a competitive advantage by helping investors choose a suitable location and set up operations that create jobs and promote growth.”

The report shows that limited resources need not be an obstacle to effectiveness. Nicaragua is the first developing country to claim the honor of world’s best investment facilitator, achieving best-practice standards in website performance and response to investor inquiries.

“We believe that the level of service an Investment Promotion Agency offers influences an investor’s first impression of a country’s investment climate, as it demonstrates that Government’s attitude and commitment towards investors. It is with that vision, through commitment to offering high quality service and insuring that each and every investor get the information they need, we try to build a strong sense of comfort about doing business in our country and promote economic development,” said Javier Chamorro, CEO of PRONicaragua.


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