Information Officer (Ag.)
Junior Minister for Trade, Investment Promotions and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Marlon Penn has said the Government of the Virgin Islands is intensifying efforts to stimulate the economy and business activity for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the Territory.
Honourable Penn while delivering remarks at the launch of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) draft policy last week said the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs will be transformed as part of this initiative.
He said that one of the challenges that has been brought to the fore is that people found it very difficult to do business in the BVI. He said the Territory is rated one of the lowest when it comes to ease of doing business in the Caribbean and that perception had to be addressed.
The Junior Minister said, “We started the process of investments, we looked at establishing an investment framework for us to move forward. We looked at the overall MSME’s and Trade and how Trade functioned, which has to be changed in the entire reform process, and we looked at the issue of regulation and inconsistency of how we do business and how we treat businesses within the Territory.”
Honourable Penn added that the small business sector is critical to the Territory’s development and that the workshop was organised to get feedback from the business community to get their input in the legislation that would be implemented.
The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) draft policy is an on-going strategy that defines MSMEs in the BVI and paves the path for an enabling environment. The goal of the policy is to create a platform for these enterprises through skills, development and awareness and aims to address seven policy areas. These areas include: education and training; institutional and regulatory framework; operational environment for MSMEs; business development and support services; access to credit and finance; innovation; and internalisation of MSMEs.
The Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) is a contributing partner and a sponsor of the draft policy. COSME assisted in establishing the investment framework. Support was also received from the Caribbean Association of Investment and Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) of which the Territory is a member.
- Junior Minister of Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs Honourable Marlon Penn; Panelist of the event as well as participants from various MSMEs