Promoting Investment in Information and Communications Technologies in the Caribbean

Stern, Peter A.
May 2006
This paper is based on the premise that investment in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has a positive impact on economic development because of its contribution to growth and labor productivity. Development of an information-based society and the realization of an ICT strategy and its incorporation into every day social and economic activity are, however, dependent on the availability and accessibility of physical infrastructure. The report reviews the basic infrastructure for ICT in the Caribbean and compares the current telecommunications policy and regulatory framework with that of the mid 1990s when governments in the region began earnestly to think about reform. At that time twelve of them participated in the World Trade Organization negotiations on basic telecommunications. The report also examines telecommunications pricing issues, the current free trade negotiations which impact the ICT sector and some noteworthy regional initiatives to promote ICT. Finally it discusses regulatory barriers to investment in the telecommunications sector and recommends a number of actions to overcome these.