The Trade Commission will be responsible for activities relating to trade and economic development in the territory.
Addressing the ceremony, Premier Fahie said the Commission been a long time coming and that the launching marks the dawn of a new day in the Virgin Islands as its people continue to chart their way forward towards realising a long-awaited vision. "A vision for prosperity, for the Virgin Islands to be developed as a smart economy that is resilient, and sustainable.”
He continued that it is expected that the overall restructuring and transitioning of the Virgin Islands Trade Commission into a fully functioning statutory body will take a period of between three to five years. "Remember we still have plenty more legislation to be passed through the House of Assembly.”
The Premier further said that, with the coordinated efforts of all the public and private sectors, government will be able to make the strides that are necessary towards its vision for the future prosperity of the territory.
Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL), who addressed the event, said she too has been looking forward to the launch of the Trade Commission.
She informed that the overall aim of the Trade Commission is to develop policies, programmes and initiatives that would seek to achieve the following objectives.
“It is the government’s desire to create an atmosphere of trust, transparency and predictability in order to increase investments, private sector growth, and local entrepreneurship. We also wish to simplify the government’s procedures in order to minimise the cost of doing business and other transaction costs.
"We will facilitate capacity building in manpower and resources. We will identify and develop special focus areas which would diversify the economy and generate employment opportunities. We will facilitate technological upgrades of all the sectors through the use of ICT in order to transform the Virgin Islands into a modern digital economy.”
She continued that Government will also facilitate forward-looking policies for revenue generation and ensure that the domestic sectors are not disadvantaged by global regulations.
"Additionally, we will increase competitiveness in the territory and enable consumers to have access to the widest choices of goods and services on the best possible terms and finally we will seek to achieve economic integration among regional trading partners and secure access to global markets for the export of goods and services originating from the Virgin Islands.”