United States Virgin Islands Sees Increase in Exports: Report

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 23, 2012

Above: USVI Governor John de Jongh at a strategy session of Cabinet this week (Photo: OG)

The United States Virgin Islands saw a 21 percent increase in exports from 2010 to 2011, according to data reported by the International Trade Administration.

That was larger than the 16 percent increase seen by the United States as a whole in the same period. The USVI totaled $2.3 billion in exports, up from $1.9 billion in 2010.

“My administration has worked to encourage and assist Virgin Islands companies interested in exporting goods to foreign markets,” said Governor John de Jongh. “The ITA numbers show the success of our policies and the promise for additional economic growth through export markets.”

Rachel Duran, International Trade Specialist at the US Commercial Service in San Juan, said the USVI was still only capitalizing on a small portion of its export potential.

“While many US Virgin Islands businesses are exporting, many more firms have yet to tap their export potential,” she said. “Only a small fraction of all US companies export, and of those that do, 58 percent sell to only one foreign market. There’s plenty of room to grow more exports.”

The Virgin Islands recently received a federal grant to study the export market.

“The Virgin Islands has yet to truly realize the tremendous potential of international trade,” de Jongh said.

That potential exists in markets beyond manufacturing, including in legal and accounting businesses as well, he said.

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