updated 6:19 PM PDT, Sep 5, 2017
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BVI to Establish Investment Agency

Internal and external investment is expected to increase once the Territory establishes its investment agency in the near future; and Junior Minister of Trade and investment, Hon. Marlon Penn disclosed earlier this month that strides are already being taken to make the Unit a reality.

The Junior Minister while speaking at the Trade Entrepreneurial Week press conference on 3rd April explained that the Department of Trade recently concluded its investment strategy and plans to develop an investment promotion agency within the Department.

“That agency will be responsible for managing the whole aspect of investment in the Territory, not only from a local point of view but foreign direct investments. So we now have a clear strategy in terms of how we are going to handle investments coming in and investments from within the Territory,” Hon. Penn explained.

The Junior Minister further noted that COSME has been instrumental in the planning for the investment agency: “They also helped us to join with this group called CAIPA (Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies) which is a network of agencies from Bahamas to Surinam, and what that allowed us is to have persons who’ve been in investment space for a very long time to give us support give us guidance,” Hon. Penn further added.

He also disclosed that the BVI will receive assistance in setting up the agency from Jamaica: “We actually had a study tour in Jamaica which was funded by COSME to help support us along our journey in developing our investment agency, so there is a lot of good things that came out of this,” Hon. Penn added.

$1.4M In Fees Outstanding At Shipping Registry

The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry has some $1.4M outstanding in fees dating back to the 80s.

Acting Director of the registry, Mr Raman Balasubramanian, said that by December 2016, invoices had been prepared for fees that had not been paid for 3,000 vessels, which amounted to $1.4M.

He explained that it was as far back as the 70s, 80s and in some cases, the fees were not invoiced, but the ship owner had the responsibility to pay the fees.

The director however, said that the shipping registry collected $800,000 in revenue in 2016.

He went on to state that of the $1.4M outstanding, $160,000 was for the collection.

The director also said that there are 4,000 ships registered.

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