Author: Jeevan A. Robinson - MNI Media | Date: 21 August 2018
The 2018 UK Diaspora Investment Promotional Tour has come to an end. The tour ended in Manchester on Saturday, August 18th, 2018, with a focus group styled meeting, capping the evening with an exceptional level of questions and engagement from all who came out.
The UK Diaspora Investment Promotional Tour was actually planned to take place during 2017, however, in April of this year, whilst on Montserrat, both the General Manager of the St Patrick's Cooperative Credit Union and and MNI Media met on several occasions at the SPCCU's offices in Brades going through the particulars of the tour and the cities to be visited, as the idea was revamped.
During the 2018 tour of the UK both Leicester, Birmingham, London and Manchester hosted meetings.
What was evident from all the locations visited is that there are people in the Diaspora who are very keen on being involved in the re-development of Montserrat. The presentations that they received that outlined to them how they can do so, with factual and timely information, were very well received on each stop. The options and financial vehicles provided by the SPCCU were also of valued interest to the attendees.
Kenneth.J.Cassell, Architect & Realtor at K.J.Cassell Consultants Ltd was also an active participant at each city stop, making invaluable presentations on property acquisition, land purchase and home building on Montserrat.
Speaking about the tour to MNI Media Lead Consultant Ken Cassell stated:
"The SPCCU/MNI Media investment promotion tour proved to be very necessary as many of Montserrat's former residents are quite keen to learn more about what's happening back home, how they can invest and contribute to the local economy. I am glad I was able to help keep them informed and offer some advice on investing in property on Montserrat."
Now, the way forward following on from the tour is being actively pursued, as the SPCCU engages dialogue with Credit Unions here in the UK towards researching the conditions for having a Credit Union here that can be a direct depository link to SPCCU held accounts on Montserrat. Those discussions are being currently engaged.
Speaking about the tour and his reflections towards it, General Manager of the SPCCU, Peter D. A. Queeley stated:
"I would say that the SPCCU/MNI Media UK Montserrat Diaspora Investment Tour went very well. There is lots of interest from the Montserrat UK Diaspora in the products and services offered by the SPCCU and by extension investment in Montserrat.
The SPCCU Retirement Savings Plan and the SPCCU Family Indemnity Plan in particular generated significant interest from current and prospective diaspora members. Also lots there was lots of interest in the establishment of a Diaspora Mutual Fund or Unit Trust to facilitate collaborated investments in Montserrat.
In almost every area members of the Diaspora expressed the fact that information relating to possible investments in Montserrat and concessions offered by the Government was not forth coming in a form that is readily available. I would urge the relevant Government Ministry to address this issue in a more meaningful manner.
There was great concern in the UK Diaspora about the movement of funds into and out of Montserrat and the high costs associated with the same. The SPCCU is currently exploring potential relationships with UK Credit Unions based in areas where the Montserratian Diaspora is concentrated to alleviate this situation.
However, all things taken into consideration the SPCCU/MNI Media UK Montserrat Diaspora Investment Tour was very successful. I was also please by the interest shown by some nationals who are not necessarily of Montserratian roots or origin but who had a general interest in Montserrat overall growth and development."
Key information from the presentations will be provided via MNI Media towards the end of this week.