Turks and Caicos Islands Revised Investment Policy Statement aims to create an effective new model for attracting new investment to the Caribbean territory
Author: Angela Musgrove, Interim CEO, Invest Turks and Caicos
Oct. 15, 2018
With less than 40,000 inhabitants, the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) may be one of the smallest territories in the Caribbean, but they certainly exceed their weight. Boasting spectacular coral reefs, luxurious hotels and exotic wildlife, the archipelago has earned a well-deserved reputation among travelers as a hidden gem.
Boasting spectacular coral reefs, luxurious hotels and exotic wildlife, TCI has earned a reputation among travelers as a hidden gem
However, TCI is not limited to tourism. The financial sector is regaining much of the traction it lost in the 2008 financial crash, and other lucrative industries are also on the rise. TCI has played a crucial role in promoting investment opportunities in the region.
Like many other regions of the world, the TCI was severely damaged by the global financial crisis of 2008. With Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, these external factors exposed the islands ‘open-arms’ investment policy and caused was a major setback for TCI’s economy. In response, the TCI government revised its Investment Policy Statement (IPS).
A new approach
The revised SPI aims to create a new investment model that will maintain a dynamic and growing economy, better equipped to meet economic and social challenges, and more resilient to external shocks. Invest Turks and Caicos (Invest TCI) is playing a vital role in this new investment landscape, promoting the islands, generating leads, serving investors and defending the government.
To effectively attract new investment, the TCI government identifies and targets businesses in priority sectors and uses relationship management strategies to attract these businesses to the islands. The TCI government is committed to proactively seeking high quality commercial investors who would not otherwise have considered the location, and also aims to secure a greater quantity and quality of inbound investment projects through the establishment relationships and effective facilitation.
In order for this new investment policy to have the greatest possible impact, the TCI government has identified several development priorities for the next five years. Strengthening the tourism sector is a major focus area, and investment will be needed if the islands are to offer visitors the range of experiences they demand. A 2016 KPMG study found that TCI tourists were looking for activities that went beyond sun and sea. The islands’ unique relationship with marine life – its “mariculture” – should be emphasized to potential visitors. , who might be enticed to visit the world’s only conch farm. More could also be said about TCI’s history, such as its once thriving salt industry, âagribusinessâ scene and horticulture.
Attempts to diversify the tourism sector will also benefit from the development of the island cruise industry. This would help TCI make the most of its natural assets, including Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales Island, which is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in the world. Encouraging public-private partnerships could contribute to the development of ports and other transport infrastructure, which would provide a much needed boost to the
the cruise industry.
Outside of tourism, the financial services sector is gaining ground and the focus is renewed on establishing a strong regulatory framework for the industry. Growth of the manufacturing, fishing and agricultural sectors is a top priority, along with the development of renewable energy technology and the growth of the information technology sector.
If the IPS is to support a vibrant economy, then it will have to offer a helping hand to local and foreign businesses. To do this, IPS supports companies in their first start-up activities, helping them to maintain their products and services at a five-star level. This is in line with the islands’ desire to remain one of the premier high-end destinations in the world.
Under the IPS, projects in Providenciales will be eligible for a 50 percent concession on import duties, rising to 75 percent for all commercial projects located on family islands. In addition, in exceptional circumstances where the proposals are considered to be in the national interest but private land on which to develop them is not available, land belonging to the monarchy will be made available.
Invest TCI is responsible for monitoring performance once a development agreement has been signed between an investor and the government. Invest TCI oversees companies’ eligibility for investment incentives, working alongside the TCI government to ensure approved projects are marketed globally to qualified investors and have considered the interests of investors. local community groups. In this way, TCI can create an open and outward looking investment sector that always cares for its citizens.