UN Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) has reported total FDI inflows into the Caribbean of US$ 4.443 billion in 2011 (see Table 1 below). This was a 20% increase relative to the flows in 2010 but remains less than half the inflows in 2008 (see Figure 1 below). After growing by 43% between 2000 and 2007, FDI into the region fell off by 8% in the wake of the international financial crisis as inflows particularly to the services sector decelerated. The increase in 2011 was attributed primarily to increased flows to the Dominican Republic of US$ 2.371 billion (25% more than in 2010)
The other territories within the Caribbean experienced mixed results with respect to investment inflows, however investments into the tourism and financial services sectors still remained low with the adverse impact of the global financial crisis, as well as regional challenges in the insurance sector in the OECS are still ongoing.
Investment into the natural resources sector has been increasing with significant investment projects focused on the gold and bauxite mining sectors in Suriname and oil exploration in Guyana. Smaller investments in manufacturing and the services sectors for export were concentrated in free trade zones and call centres in the Dominican Republic, while Haiti recorded investments related to the earthquake recovery. Investments in the mining sector, electric power and commerce also contributed to the significant increase in FDI Inflows to the Dominican Republic in 2011. FDI Inflows into tourism and real estate increased slightly but remained below the levels seen at the end of 2007. In the Bahamas investments of US$840 million in 2011 reflected inflows related to the construction of the largest tourism project in the Caribbean.
For Caribbean economies such as Trinidad & Tobago, US$293 million was attracted in investments during the first half of 2011, similar to what was invested in the same period in 2010. The member countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, recorded a 7% reduction in FDI in 2011, which was the fifth consecutive year that FDI inflows had fallen since 2007. This is primarily attributed to the falloff in inflows in the tourism sector.