A Trade Policy Review committee has been established to provide recommendations for the development of a trade policy in the Territory.
The committee set up by Government, has been assigned for a period of three months and will also draft the appropriate legislative framework of the trade policy. It is expected to complete its work in early May.
Junior Minister for Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Marlon Penn will lead the committee that will review the economic environment; coordinate reform activities and serve as a source of information and advice for the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs.
The committee held its first meeting on January 17 with Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and Honourable Marlon Penn in attendance.
Premier Smith shared his expectations and the need for the Virgin Islands trade regime to be on par with the rest of the region. He also provided direction on the way forward for developing the roadmap, in order for the Territory to be able to compete on a global level.
Honourable Marlon Penn stated, “The Trade Policy Review Committee will be responsible for conducting the necessary research and analysis of best practices and make recommendations on the most appropriate model framework that would seek to increase the level of economic activities all the while establishing trust between the Government, the business sector and the consumers.”
The committee will report to Junior Minister, Honourable Penn and will additionally be tasked with reviewing existing policies and strategies which are associated with trade, business, investment & consumer affairs; establishing strategic goals and objectives of a prudent trade policy; and setting out the policy and regulatory framework for the implementation of a robust trade policy.
The committee also consists of a wide cross-section of representatives from government entities, the banking sector, private sector as well as from the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, and legal practitioners.
The creation of a trade policy takes on added significance as the BVI Government moves to attract value added services to diversify the local economy as part of the BVI Forward campaign to strengthen the financial services industry.