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Hard to do business in BVI: Bad attitudes, over-regulated

Leader of Opposition Andrew Fahie

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie has stressed that the BVI needs investors. However, he said some public service workers and government policies are discouraging these investors from doing business in the territory.

He said both local and foreign investors have lost confidence in the BVI.

He believes the public service needs a complete overhaul, which should involve providing proper training to public servants.

“It is difficult to do business in this British Virgin Islands,” Fahie lamented.

“We over-regulated, we have more laws than what John read about, and we have some people to the top with some bad attitudes. We ain’t getting nowhere till we change some of those things and some of the persons,” Fahie said.

“We have to work on these things because all of this is part of recovery or else people ain’t going to want to invest here whether local or foreign,” he added.

Sister Islands have it worse

The Opposition Leader noted that things are bad on Tortola and considerably worse on the sister islands.

He noted that government services have continued to worsen since the hurricanes.

“I surprised with the way the service government is rendering especially since the hurricane, even more so than ever. With the type of service that I see, Anegada Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda ain’t ask for independence from Tortola. It is inhumane.”

Liquor license

He went on to make specific mention of the process of applying for a liquor license.

He said there needs to be better collaboration among the departments involved in the process.

“To get a liquor license you need Health, you need Trade, and you need Fire … No three comes the same time so you taking over a month or more to get it because you have to go from one section to the next section to the other section and that is on Tortola. God forbid if you apply for it Virgin Gorda, Anegada or Jost Van Dyke.”

Governor Augustus Jaspert recently announced that local liquor license laws will be modified this year.

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27 Comments

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  1. Laura says:

    “We over-regulated, we have more laws than what John read about, and we have some people to the top with some bad attitudes. We ain’t getting nowhere till we change some of those things and some of the persons,”

    This has been the case donkey years now. Add to that poor customer service especially within the Government service offices.

    We NEED to do better because we CAN do better. Our people are passionate and smart BUT we have a problem and its called ATTITUDE adjustment.

    What we portraying to the outer world is appalling to say the least but it can be fixed.
    We need to take these islands back and make them greater than before.

    • Albion says:

      Amen, sister. It is good that Fahie talks about it, but it would be better if he *did* something about it. Like put together a political plan: which permits and approvals would he remove as Premier to streamline the process and make it easier for investors? Show it is not just all talk – show us a plan. I’ll vote for any politician who can address this decades old problem and get the economy on the fast track.

      • watcher says:

        Assume you are an outside investor who decides to invest $5 million in BVI. Do you imagine the govt welcomes you with open arms? Think again. You will be required to go down to Labour and beg ( because that’s about it) for a work permit to work for yourself, for which btw you will pay through the nose. You will then go to immigration ( stand for hours in the sun) and ask for “ time” . They will almost certainly jerk you about and tell you to come back another day.

        If you had $5 million to invest would you put up with that?

        or head for Cayman?

      • All Baloney says:

        Well said All Balloney. We need to start with a plan. We need to start with disclosure. We need to start with a national conversation about constitutional reform that will replace opportunities for our elected officials to misspend our $. For example, why is the public spending associated with the recovery plan considered a state secret? Let it be published. Let an investigation into the sources of our minister’s private wealth commence! Many have served as ministers for their entire careers and yet now own dozens of companies worth millions of dollars. We need to investigate! We need disclosure! We need our ministers to be honest and tell us where there money come from.

  2. strupes says:

    Outsiders given the red carpet while locals given the red tape

    • Avalon says:

      Not exactly, the rich (their rich friends) get the red carpet, the poor (wherever from) get the red tape…

      • VILander says:

        I’ve seen poor white men come here and be treated like kings lol the problem is our education system but these clowns want us learn Chinese lol

    • Sam the Man says:

      As usual Strupes you seem unable to see the bigger picture and articulate a sensible reply with reasoning – maybe you are one of those people that just shouts when they don’t get their own way – just grow up…

  3. On target says:

    Hon. Andrew A. Fahie you are on target. We as a BVI people must do better if we want better and is to get better.

  4. To me says:

    To me the BVI has gone backwards in the last six years although we are made to believe otherwise.

  5. I MOVING 1st District says:

    Fahie speaks FULL TRUTH! CLEAN HOUSE! ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICES!

  6. Good idea says:

    VG should be independent. Govt did nothing for VG

  7. hmm says:

    Like most places around the world, the govt just needs to get out of the way.

  8. True says:

    Especially one of the Banks the one that was blown in and still not properly repaired. The attitudes of most of the tellers and customer service is horrible.

  9. Richgdgy says:

    Sounds just like the U,S. under the Lib Obama!

  10. @ says:

    It is hard to do business in BVI. Everything is too political in this tiny country. If you don’t have the right last name or ain’t doing favors for the right political party you can’t get anywhere. People get jobs just because they from here and not because they qualified to do the job. We have more job fairs than one small country needs. No one yet to really invest in education to produce the graduates that todays industry needs. Good students dont want to come home cause there is nothing for them here. Gosh something got to give! BVI need change.

  11. Crisis says:

    Well spoken, Mr Fahie.
    This territory has some real issues with how it’s people see ourselves. First, we assume that because our ancestors had it tough, the world owes us. Well, all over the world people had and still have it tough. Most of them people don’t sit back and wait for someone to feel sorry for them and give them an easy life. They get an easy life by working, studying and thinking hard – not soft. Second,we are the size of a small US town -possibly a village. We simply don’t have the numbers to act like a big country. We can talk some talk but at end of day the pool of talent we have is subatomic compared to major countries, so we need to know qe have some limitations just because of size – and stop viewing ourselves as a ‘country’ – we are a dependent territory. And this means we should stop hating outsiders because many of them can help us make a better territory. They have skills and experience we do not. So don’t hate them for it. Learn from them and Make our people’s lives better, while spreading love Instead of hate and bitterness.

  12. WHAT.. says:

    Truer words have never been spoken. Tell it like it is Fahie.

  13. Crap says:

    Pure talk!!

  14. resident says:

    better pay would help to improve the attitudes

  15. Mr Fahir says:

    Is there anything positive you can muster to articulate about your country?

  16. watcher says:

    I don’t often agree with Mr Fahie but he is spot on here. I have done business in several countries and there is no doubt that BVI is the most backward and obstructionist. It is not all the government’s fault either. This is the worst banking system I have encountered anywhere. It is not fit for purpose. We need more and better banks. And more and better telecoms.

  17. Concerned says:

    Could not agree more with majority that has been said. I have an opportunity for a project that would put taxes in the cofferes and business in local businesses, but Imigration and work permits (for less than 8 weeks total on island) prevents the whole project. SAD!!

  18. The same bank says:

    The same bank that one that got most of the glasses broken from Irma is the worst making profit from your savings but can’t get a loan from them to start a business or buy piece of land . Plus poor customer service

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