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The official launch of the Virgin Islands Trade Commission held last month is expected to set the stage for a new paradigm for the Government of the Virgin Islands to strategically develop the Territory’s economy in a more sustainable manner.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said at the launch of the Commission that it was the realisation of a long awaited vision for the Territory to be developed as a “SMART Economy” that is resilient and sustainable.
The Premier said that it is the Government’s Vision to transform the Virgin Islands into a leading economy through entrepreneurship, innovation and local and foreign investment. This he said will create a thriving, vibrant, diversified and innovative, knowledge-based economy, with an attractive business environment that ensures full employment and full participation in global trade.
Premier Fahie outlined his Government’s position with the view/understanding that “trade is not an end in itself, but a means to our economic growth and national development.” He said Government is embracing the concept of sustainable development to ensure that development in the present leaves a positive impact for future generations.
This will be done by focusing on the Territory’s development through three main pillars: the social pillar, the environmental pillar, and the economic pillar, for which he informed that the global community and the entire Caribbean region is striving.
The Premier said Government, in considering its overall vision and strategic direction, established the Virgin Islands Trade Commission, as a statutory body, with the responsibility for all activities related to trade and economic development, which will function as a "One Stop-Shop" for trade, business, investment, fair competition and consumer affairs.
The six functional areas of focus commission include;
- Policy Planning Research and Development
- Trade and Export Development
- Business Development
- Investment Promotion & Facilitation
- Licensing and Regulation
- Fair Trade (Fair Competition and Consumer Protection)
Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Shereen Flax-Charles informed that the overall plan for implementation of the Virgin Islands Trade Commission is to restructure and transform the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs.
This she said will be done by expanding its portfolio to ensure the effective implementation and administration of the National Trade Policy of the Virgin Islands and all of its legal instruments in order to provide the services required for the development of new industries and the expansion of the business environment, all of which are vital to the sustainable economic development and growth of the Virgin Islands.
“With this new structure, we will be able to facilitate trade and economic development in a more, holistic, efficient and sustainable manner.” Honourable Flax- Charles added.
An Act to establish the Virgin Islands Trade Commission was passed in the House of Assembly on June 9 2020 to advise the Minister responsible for Trade on all matters relating to trade, business, investment, fair competition and consumer affairs, including the most suitable implementation mechanisms for stimulating and promoting the development of business and investment activities and opportunities, nationally and internationally.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
- Photos from the launch of the Virgin Islands Trade Commission last month.