Premier Andrew Fahie has announced that the government is exploring a policy that would allow some trade licenses to be approved within a maximum of three days.
The Premier said these fast-tracked trade licenses would be given to Virgin Islanders who can create new, innovative businesses linked to the tourism sector.
“It will allow you to come to us and say ‘this is where I can fit in the tourism industry and how can I fast-track my trade license to go into these new niche areas?’ The entrepreneurs are the ones who will help us to identify the niche areas. For example, the eco-tours and the hiking, we [the government] didn’t come up with all of that. But those are innovative areas. Innovation is the only way we’re going to be able to strengthen our economy beyond what we ever saw before,” Premier Fahie
said the government will not be approving several trade licenses in the same innovative niche.
“So that area we will be working on to ensure that we have more persons from all over the Virgin Islands
diaspora coming forward. And it (a new business) can’t be in the same section of the industry to have congestion. It has to be innovative ideas … We’re talking about a maximum of three days in which you can have your trade license,” Premier Fahie
He said the new policy to strengthen the tourism sector is being spearheaded by Junior Minister of Tourism Sharie DeCastro and Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Shereen Flax-Charles.
The government has announced numerous plans to advance trade within the territory. It is currently working to establish the Virgin Islands
Trade Commission which is expected to be a statutory body tasked with developing policies, programmes and initiatives to improve trade relations of the BVI.