Invest Turks and Caicos Agency (Invest TCI) were delighted to welcome over 125 attendees to its 2nd Annual Economic Conference at Beaches Resort Villages & Spa conference center in Providenciales this past Friday 8th November.
Entitled: "Financial Services: Building Block of a strong Diversified Economy", the conference heard from the Deputy-Governor, H.E. Anya Williams and the Honourable Premier, Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade about the need to build a diverse economy. Lorna Smith, former head of BVI Finance, spoke on the opportunities and benefits the Turks and Caicos Islands could enjoy if we take action to develop our financial services sector. The conference also heard from Invest TCI's CEO, James Bursey, on the importance of technology and innovation in building a firm platform for future growth.
Based on the 2018 KPMG report to Government recommending investment in the sector, the conference heard from speakers in the morning session, and then broke into discussion groups in the afternoon to debate the issues (Do we want to grow the sector? Why? What products could we develop to grow the sector? and What changes do we need to make to grow the sector?) . With a significant number of attendees from the Government and Civil Service, the Financial Services Commission and the Private Sector, a vigorous and full debate resulted in a broad consensus that, yes, the Turks and Caicos did need to diversify its economy, and that Financial Services represented the most credible sector with which to do so; that we can and should focus on services to the ultra -wealthy, aligned with our tourism brand, and encourage family offices, trust companies, wealth management and high net worth immigration, expand our captive insurance business, and encourage the growth of banks and finance companies. If we want to grow the sector, we recognise we will need to encourage investors with the requisite skill sets to come to the Turks and Caicos, and to attract them we need to offer certainty on long term work permits (provided reasonable conditions are met to enable locally qualified job seekers to be trained to take over from work permit holders where appropriate and qualified to do so). Those charged with growing the sector were left in no doubt that there was broad and real support to urgently move forwards.
In his presentation, James Bursey, Invest TCI's CEO, stated: "I am deeply grateful to my team for making this event such a success, and to the FSI and Mr. David Stewart who have worked tirelessly to champion the Financial Services sector. As a result of the very clear commitments made by Madam Premier and her cabinet to grow the sector, and the clear support from the civil service, the private sector and the FSC, we now have the mandate and the resources to grow the sector, and I look forward to doing so immediately. "
Invest TCI, which is the investment promotions arm of the government fall within the remit of the Minister of Finance.
About Invest Turks and Caicos
Invest Turks and Caicos is the Islands' Investment Promotion Agency, responsible for enhancing the economy through the attraction, growth and retention of overseas investment; and supporting the growth of local businesses.
We provide a free and confidential service to overseas businesses looking to expand and will work with a company project team throughout the investment process, providing advice and support. This can include:
– Information on the local business climate;
– facilitating contact with relevant Government Departments throughout the investment process;
– advice on Government incentives and concessions to investors;
– introductions to local service providers/suppliers;
– advice on work permits and permanent residency procedures;
– ongoing support following set up.
We also work actively to support the growth of local businesses, including the management and delivery of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise programme which provides concessions and reliefs to locally owned businesses.
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