The agency will also be tasked with undertaking ventures to increase investments, private sector growth and local entrepreneurship.
“We also wish to simplify government’s procedures in order to minimize the cost of doing business and other costs. We will facilitate capacity-building in man-power and resources. We will identify and develop special focus areas which will diversify the economy and generate employment opportunities,” said Junior Minister for Trade & Economic Development, Shereen Flax-Charles at the launch event on February 23.
The Trade Commission will also be tasked with ensuring that consumers get the best products on the best possible terms. Additionally, it will seek to form global partnerships and find global markets for BVI’s imports and exports.
One of the main priority areas for the new statutory body will be the development of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). According to Flax-Charles, entrepreneurs will be able to receive support, training, and counselling to advance their businesses.
The Commission will also be in charge of providing licenses for all local businesses.
Premier Andrew Fahie, who was also present at the launch ceremony, explained that the government continues to develop legislation that will facilitate the right environment for the Trade Commission to function effectively.
“It is expected that the overall restructuring and transition of The Virgin Islands Trade Commission will [grow] into a fully functioning statutory body [but] will take a period of three to five years because we still have plenty legislation to be passed through the House of Assembly,” Fahie explained.