FDI into the Caribbean recorded strong growth in 2013, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. With 54 new projects recorded in 2013, the region experienced a 25.6% year-on-year increase in project numbers. The overall value of greenfield investments in the Caribbean, which amounted to $3.6bn in the year, was one of the highest totals recorded in the past decade. Moreover, the number of new companies that invested in the Caribbean in 2013 – 47 – was the highest since fDi Markets began tracking investments to the region in 2003.

The upward trend in FDI was bolstered by the hotels and tourism sector, which showed signs of recovery from its financial crisis-related collapse. The number of projects connected to hotels and tourism was three times higher in 2013 than the year before, and with $440m of investment across nine new projects, the sector was the most popular for investments into the region in the year. Other sectors that performed strongly in 2013 included financial services, textiles, food and tobacco, and business services.

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Growth in Caribbean FDI was led by the Dominican Republic, which not only retained its position as the regional leader for inward investment, but also attracted nearly three times more projects in 2013 than in 2012. It was followed in the ranking by Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti, which also saw their levels of FDI grow in the year. Trinidad and Tobago recorded six projects in 2013, compared with five in 2012, and Haiti attracted four in 2013, compared to one in 2012.

As in 2012, Spain and the US were the biggest investors in the Caribbean in 2013. Canadian and South Korean investors, who recorded no activity in the region in 2012, launched five and three new projects, respectively, in 2013.

Among the most active investing companies are Banesco Banco Universal, a Venezuelan bank that expanded in the Dominican Republic in 2013, Cemex, a Mexican construction materials supplier that invested in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, and Sunwing Travel Group, a Canadian tourist operator that invested $40m in improving and expanding a holiday complex in Punta Cana, a Dominican holiday resort.