BVI News

Gov’t not selling out BVI to foreign investors — Junior Trade Minister

Government legislator, Shereen Flax Charles.

Junior Minister for Trade & Economic Development, Shereen Flax-Charles expressed alarm at the thought that persons may have misinterpreted the government’s intention when it introduced the Investment Act.

“I want to assure you and assure the entire population of the BVI that we are not selling out the BVI to foreign investors,” the At-Large Representative said as she spoke in the House of Assembly (HOA) yesterday, September 9.

The Virgin Islands investment Act — which passed in the HOA recently — seeks to modernise the way business is done in the BVI and to make the territory more competitive, secure, and attractive for business and investment.

Not all investment is foreign

Flax-Charles argued that locals, as well as foreign investors, are both able to come together with an investment proposal under the new Act.

The legislator said the time has long gone where persons should feel that all of the investment coming into the BVI is foreign.

“We’re building a nation here in the British Virgin Islands,” the legislator said. “There are lots of different aspects of it and this Virgin islands Investment Act is just one such aspect of it.”

The junior minister said building the BVI required more than just the efforts of the legislators and therefore encouraged everyone to get involved.

Trade Commission will bring change

Launched in April, the Trade Commission is expected to set the stage for a new paradigm for the government to strategically develop the territory’s economy in a more sustainable manner.

With the establishment of the physical component of the Trade Commission, Flax-Charles said the general public will be able to get a feel and also better understand where the government is moving with the Trade Commission and with foreign investment.

Flax-Charles previously stated that the overall plan for implementation of the Virgin Islands Trade Commission is to restructure and transform the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion & Consumer Affairs by expanding its portfolio to function as the “one-stop shop” for trade, business, investment, fair competition and consumer affairs.

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  1. Styles. says:

    Keep pushing away the foreign investors. Just realize you are therefore also pushing away any opportunities for future growth. We have seen what happens when we locals think we can do it all ourselves.

    At least, have you seen the roads, hospitals, schools etc? That’s our level of development. Bottom line we suck at building stuff, we need help.

    Like 43
  2. Lack of real competition says:

    The complete lack of competition has caused the BVI to be ignored by foreign investors and local competition does not exist. We are supposed to be satisfied with bad products & goods, bad service and high prices to avoid real competition for our belongers. If this is not changed, we will continue to a mediocre island state.

    Like 32
  3. COOKIE says:

    What major development has happened in the BVI in the last 15 years? What was the last big hotel built?
    This place is so twisted anyone with a $$ looking to invest runs a mile from the BVI….

    Like 34
    • Laughes says:

      Only “one Mile”? that is a very short distance.

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
    • Rubber Duck says:

      It’s really scary the dream world these idiot politicians live in.

      The terrible act with its promises that the government will steal your business if you are doing well, it’s reservation of anything profitable to the cronies, it’s increased bureaucracy and its “ Commission “ of crooks and cronies does everything it can to discourage investment by anyone , foreign or local.

      Who is going to head up this Commission? Patsy? Yes thought so.

  4. BVI Observer says:

    “to make the territory more competitive, secure, and attractive for business and investment.”

    How do the expropriation clauses achieve this?

    Like 15
  5. Whatever says:

    Regardless of whatever changes the minister is articulating, imo, the BVI is a hostile environment for investors especially if you are from outside this territory.

    I hate to say this: It’s not worth the time and effort. The politics of investing in this country is intolerable.

    I have come to that conclusion decades ago, and nothing has changes in the subsequent years that could have changed my mind.

    I look around this country and I see the need for investment, but no serious person of means would touch this place knowing that there are those who either don’t want foreign investors or label those who seek investments as selling out the country.

    It’s a no win situation.

    Until the politics changes surrounding investments inclusive of the mindset of some in the community relative to investment, I do not foresee any major investment in this country and that is unfortunate because the BVI has tremendous potential.

    The politicians in the country past and present has made investment a hot topic and a dirty word among some to earn their votes. They have sold the populace a bad message that foreign investment is bad, and they were not going to “sell out the country”.

    Well, all countries need some investment and an infusion of cash to grow their economies. We live in a global economy. The BVI is too xenophobic to achieve its fullest potential.

    Unless that changes and politicians stop selling a bag of lies to the public, I don’t expect to see much development in this country even by locals least foreigners because everybody appears to catch hell when they try to do something in this country. Not worth the effort IMO.

    Like 32
    • Deh Watcha says:

      Investing in the BVI is difficult even for locals, wether small or large investment.

      Like 13
    • BS says:

      “The BVI is too xenophobic to achieve its fullest potential”. – Your narrative of the BVI being xenophobic is complete BS. Out of the 195 countries on this earth there are approximately 130 different nationalities in this 58 sq. mile Territory!

      Like 4
      Dislike 9
      • Whatever says:

        Who are you trying to fool?

        Having 130 different nationalities in the BVI does not mean xenophobia does not exits. The attitude among the local populace and the government and it’s policies towards immigrants and investors says loud and clear that the country is indeed xenophobic.

        Get your head out of the sand. You are in denial. The faster people like you change your thinking the better off the country will be. Own it.

        Those numbers means nothing. It would have been nice if those numbers were reflective of peoples attitudes. Unfortunately, it’s the attitude and mindset towards foreigners that counts.

        Like 11
        Dislike 1
        • BS says:

          Look that is the problem! Not sure which standpoint you are commenting from whether you are a VIslander or a foreigner. What is really displeasing for the VIslander is the repeated negative attitudes from foreigners (immigrants from year 2000 come forward) who are allowed the ‘privilege’ (not right) to earn income in the VI toward VIslanders.

          If one complains; one can easily take the next flight out. No wonder VIslanders would have an attitude and you label it as xenophobic. It’s likened to a disrespectful house guest! Would you allow the guest to remain if they are being negative and disrespectful about your home and family? You really need to stop pushing that BS narrative; not buying the BS you are selling!

          • Whatever says:

            Your response here has validated my point about xenophobia. Here you are painting all foreigners with the same unqualified brush about “the(ir) repeated negative attitudes”, “who are allowed the ‘privilege’ (not right) to earn income in the VI toward VIslanders.”,and “If one complains; one can easily take the next flight out.”

            You are full of it, and a xenophobe.

            You are expressing xenophobic views in case you did not know, and looks like your are proud of it.

            Look, you don’t own crap or run things in the BVI. In case you did not notice, there is a U.K. Commission of Inquiry undergoing right now by the United Kingdom, your landlord.

            So cut the crap. You can run your mouth all day long and say what you wish about foreigners, but the U.K. has oversight over whatever you do at the end of the day.

            Notice the marijuana bill still sits on the U.K. appointed governor’s desk.

            Notice how the commission has hauled up all the leaders past and present to answer before them. The U.K. run the show; you are just part of the show.

            I am not trying to sell you nothing, and quite frankly could care a flying rat if you purchase anything I am “selling”.

            Bottom line is IMO, the BVI is xenophobic, and investor unfriendly. No amount of noise can change that fact, and the proof is in the pudding as no major investment is occurring in the country for some time now and I believe its because of attitudes like yours.

            Get over yourself. If you were born in the BVI you came into this world and met what was here, and you are going to die without it. You don’t own crap to tell anyone they are given a privilege to come here and work. Your landlord, The U.K. will have the last say.

            Some of you act as if everyone wants to come and live in the BVI and take something away from you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of you folks just delight in treating some people poorly because you think you are better than they are, and because of circumstances some of these people cannot do any better, but every dog has his/her day.

            Get over your insecurities and myopic xenophobic views. If you do, people would invest.

      • 007 says:

        But only one forms the government.

  6. Windy says:

    That’s why we’re still a turd world country

    Like 15
  7. Big AL says:

    I can say a lot more, but I will start and end with this ” BVI will end up behind the eighth ball, because of the lack of business sense of present and past governments”.

    Like 14
  8. WEW says:

    Won’t make any difference. I understand the Yankees are coming rather than the British

  9. Cookie says:

    Lets ask Hung, last man to drop serious $$ here thinking big investment…. what happened to him?
    butthead and blondie teifing his land???

  10. Investor says:

    One thing with BVI Politicians they like to spend and count the investor’s money before they can negotiate. Past and Present Every country needs investors to build economic growth but these Politicians want their cut first and that’s a big turn off. Before Irma and Pandemic everyone was heading over to Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 Punta Cana outside investors build up that section of DR. No Vision the people Perish the great HL Stoutt famous words.

    • Speaking of corruption says:

      “Politicians want their cut first..”.

      Sounds familiar.

      Some of these crooks need to be in jail. They have and are hurting the country.

      The COI should be exploring something like this.

  11. Hmmmm says:

    Elections have consequences, that’s all I will say. Absolutely unbelievable the level of cluelessness sitting in positions of power!

    Like 14
  12. Help says:

    Antigua hired a Bahama paving company to fix ther roads. They look very good, proper prep work and re-used a lot of the asphalt.

  13. Look Around You says:

    There is a saying that talks about the many ways to ‘skin a cat”. In Bvi there are several ways Bvi-slanders are loosing control of their country. One major way of selling out the country is as follows: In the 60s we passed legislation to attract investors into the country by giving them “pioneer Status and Tax-free exemption”; something that should have been “Time Stamped”. In other words, good for say 10 to 15 years only. Here we are at some y0 pluse years since advancstage of still giving multi-level Tax Exempt benefits to Billionaires in exchange for low-wage jobs, the ability to ship their income out of the country, no requirement to contribute to Scholarships, education or medical institutions. Meanwhile we turn around and spend millions, annually to advertise nd promote the same Tourism investments; while the same low-income earners are counte nd taxed for the moneys to pay for the countrie’s running. The oldest tourism property, established during the early 60s has never had a local manager, assistant, head Chef, CFO or maître d’. Meanwhile hospital and clinics suffer from inadequate equippment furnishing. In the 9th district, particularly VG, 4 sizable contracts, (close to or over $1 million was awarded to none 9th-district builders. Local builders are being excessively competed against, while the ferry boats are seen fully loaded heading to Tola, o to 5, Mon – Friday with none-Bvi workers.Some smaller builders are continuously challenged to maintain “Good-standing” with SSB, Nh and Inland Revenue; thus often passed over, to qualify for a government contract.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  14. Hazel E Roberts says:

    You see the BVI is under that protectionism of the uk that can pull files on these so call billionaires investors and s too is the usvi, once your country become independent, like shark some nefarious characters call investors swoop down on the politicians and have them in their pocket and actually executively control the HOA parliament, just look at Antigua PM and how it treat its people for whites, chinese and syrians white monopoly capital

  15. Hazel E Roberts says:

    Antigua did not hire bahamas hot mix. it was a uk grant to repair the road, and bahamas hot mix is a UK company so its like a pork barrel project as the americans just say, that ceo of bahamas hot mix probably voted for the present UK government and the funds was rewarded to them through a government outside the UK so corrupt that will take some and give the balance to that company, because there was a fall out where bahamas hot mix claimed that politicians wanted more money so they end up in court, is like choosing outside companies to do work outside the UK so the public dont see their friends been rewarded, it could be a similar case with the company that is proposed to build the west end ferry dock.

  16. SAME SCRIPT says:

    with all due respect , there is more than one side to every story , leave that cool aid alone and get the real facts .(OH on blonde’s site if you are honest , your fight is not with the british

  17. Chris. says:

    Unless they do something about the labor tribunal and it’s ridiculous racist , anti business dictator , judge , jury and executioner , all rolled into one , and his enormous awards against business then nobody in their right mind will look to invest in a business with employees . The whole labor system needs overhauling as presently it is too hard for business to make a profit with all the holidays and overtime restrictions . They are great for public servants but tough for business in the wake of the pandemic.

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