Friday, 19 June 2009

Grenada, the financial crisis and tourism

During this time of financial crisis smaller states need to work hard to find new ways of attracting foreign capital. CBC recently hosted a lunch for the PM of Grenada, Hon. Tillman Thomas; I was interested to hear how he plans to tackle this problem in his own county.

With the reduced numbers of people travelling for the traditional holiday, countries that rely on tourism for a large percentage of their income need to broaden there appeal and try to attract different visitors in addition to the traditional holiday maker. The Prime Minister described how his country was diversifying into, Eco Tourism and Health Tourism. He also talked of making the country self sufficient in terms of Agriculture – he wants the majority of what tourists consume to be produced locally, there should much fewer agricultural products imported for tourists.

I was also glad to hear the Prime Minister talk so passionately about a home grown chocolate bar that has now found a market in Europe.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Mr Sanusi appointed Nigerian Central Bank Governor

Last week I was in Nigeria to attend a Business Breakfast organised by Mr Pascal Dozie, one of CBC’s Board members, and was pleased to catch the Senate Confirmation Hearings of Mr Sanusi Lamido Sansui as the Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank on TV.

I was glad to see Mr Sanusi, former CEO of First Bank, a CBC Member, appointed as the Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank though a true governance process; the senate questioned him in detail on topics of great importance to the banking system and the Nigerian Economy as a whole, including Regulation and Recovery. Coincidently, Mr Sanusi is the Second Central Bank Governor of the same name to move from CEO of First Bank to the Governorship.

In General the impression I got from the Business men and women I met in Lagos was extremely upbeat; there are tremendous opportunities for investors in Nigeria, especially within the Infrastructure sectors. Government and Infrastructure Companies are actively and determinedly seeking outside investors to help develop the infrastructure base, in Lagos and other regions.