Press Release

Premier's Office
Release Date:
Monday, 23 May 2016 - 1:45pm

The British Virgin Islands will be participating in a study of the business regulatory environment.

The study was launched in St. Maarten during the steering committee and stakeholder forum for the programme titled “Strengthening the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises of the Overseas Countries and Territories in the Caribbean Region” on May 3 and 4.

The initiative is undertaken by the Caribbean Overseas Small and Medium Enterprises (COSME) Programme and funded by the European Union through the 10th EDF.

The study is also one of the sub-projects of the programme and is based on the methodology of the World Bank Ease of “Doing Business” Study. The COSME “Doing Business” study seeks to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the regulatory environment in each OCT in a few key areas. The results of which will be compared to other OCTs and the world.

The areas to be covered are the ease of starting a business, registering property, importing goods, paying taxes and complying with labor regulations. Important factors are the number of steps and the time required for completing each activity, and the cost and transparency related to each of the steps.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE stated, “The BVI welcomes the study, as it will serve as a tool to assist the Territory in devising an appropriate strategy in developing an attractive business environment that encourages and facilitates business and investment.”

The study is also being carried out in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barths, Turks and Caicos, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla Montserrat and St. Maarten where there was initial input and exchange of ideas between the Minister of Economics, Traffic and Telecommunication, Mrs. Ingrid Arrindell and the consultants Huib Poot and Tamira La Cruz. When completed in the second half of 2016, the results will be shared with the countries.

The EU-funded COSME Programme was designed to strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises throughout the 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories. Persons interested in learning more about COSME can visit