By Nadia James-Harris
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The British Virgin Islands has concluded an Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) investment promotion study tour in Jamaica.
Junior minister for trade, investment promotion and consumer affairs, Marlon Penn, led a delegation in a series of meetings with the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to learn about the structure and the services offered.
Topics discussed during the tour that was held from November 6 to November 10, included choosing priority investment sectors, the role of investment promotion units, the role of regional offices, monitoring and tracking investment promotion results, business analysis research, sector development and business advocacy.
Penn said that the OCT study tour is also part of the legislative and economic reform that he is striving to achieve to help diversify the BVI economy into additional sectors that will complement the existing sectors of financial services and tourism.
During the visit he also met with minister of economic growth and job creation (with responsibility for investment) Daryl Vaz, MP; and minister of science, energy and technology, Andrew Wheatley PhD, MP, to discuss initiatives and projects currently being undertaken in relation to the economic development of the country.
The study tour comes as the BVI becomes a formal member of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA). CAIPA allows Caribbean investment promotion agencies the opportunity to network and partner on a number of regional investment promotion initiatives.
It is envisaged that through this membership, the British Virgin Islands would be able to receive the necessary assistance in developing an investment strategy for the territory, as well as establishing an Investment Promotion Unit within the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs.
The BVI-based Caribbean Overseas Small and Medium Enterprises (COSME) programme has identified the need for OCTs to become members, so that the territories may form one block within CAIPA and unite to ensure that each territory’s unique needs are met within CAIPA initiatives for investment promotion. The BVI was subsequently represented by Penn at the third Caribbean Investment Summit in Miami.
Through the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, the government of the BVI is committed to fostering a business environment that is conducive to helping businesses to realise their full potential. This is being done through the establishment and management of programmes and networks that provide information, education, training, finance and other assistance in order to foster sustained economic development in the BVI.