Above: the Government Administration Building, Road Town (Photo: Carol A. Vanterpool)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The promotion of business development is one of the highest priorities of BVI Premier Dr Orlando Smith’s government, he said yesterday in a statement.
Smith said the private sector contributes to the British Virgin Islands’ economy in a direct way and is the central driver for circulating wealth throughout the economy.
Accordingly, Smith said the government was reviewing the existing customs tariff regime with the aim of making imports more affordable to businesses.
The government is considering introducing a two-tier differential duty rate for retailers, without increasing the duty paid, which would help businesses become more price competitive, price sensitive and retain more business locally, Smith said.
Smith said the government had also started conversations with international shippers to get shipping costs, particularly from the United States, reduced to a structure more competitive with that of local Caribbean jurisdictions.
Also planed is the reestablishment of a Business Bureau to provide development assistance to entrepreneurs.
Kevin Smith has been named Business Development Liaison for two years to provide help in this regard.
“Businesses will only thrive if they are given the necessary support to do so,” the Premier said.
“A robust and vibrant private sector is a good sign of prosperity for any economy; this means developing all our businesses to ensure that prosperity is achieved.”