The Department of Trade, Investment Promotions and Consumer Affairs is to be overhauled; partly to improve the territory’s ranking as it relates to the ease of doing business.
Junior Minister for Trade Marlon Penn said the British Virgin Islands is one of the lowest rated Caribbean countries as it relates to the ease of doing business.
Penn is the second legislator in months to bemoan the difficulties of conducting business in the territory. Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie made similar statements back in March and said public servants should be re-trained and government policies tweaked to encourage investment.
To improve the BVI’s low business rating, the trade department launched what is being called a Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) draft policy.
Penn said the draft policy is an on-going strategy that defines MSMEs in the BVI and paves the path for an ‘enabling environment’.
As part of the draft policy, issues relating to education and training, institutional and regulatory framework, operational environment for MSMEs, business development and support services, access to credit and finance, innovation, and internalisation of MSMEs, will be addressed.
“We started the process of investments, [and] we looked at establishing an investment framework for us to move forward,” Penn said. “We looked at the overall MSME’s and [the Ministry of] Trade and how Trade functioned, [it] has to be changed in the entire reform process.”
The Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises known as COSME, as well as the Caribbean Association of Investment and Promotion Agencies sponsored the draft policy.
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