Re-Inventing the Virgin Islands’ Business Sector

Think Globally, Act Locally

The 21st century has not only brought us to the age of rapid technological advancements but also in doing so, has made us an ever so integral part of the global village phenomenon. The powers that brought all four corners of the world together are constantly working to flatten the playing field through rapid information dissemination and sharing. The recent gas and food price hikes due to global demand and supply fluctuations have brought the Virgin Islands’ business and consumer sectors to the realization that re-invention is the only means left for survival in this globally charged scene.

For a long time, we learned and did business and lived our lives as an American territory, surrounded by the beautiful Caribbean Sea. The re-invention of Virgin Islands businesses now demands a diversified portfolio augmented with a long term comprehensive economic plan. Attention to export-based, small and medium enterprise can not only help to compliment our tourism sector but can also help advance our islands’ product branding capability in the international marketplace. Supported by an integrated global marketing campaign and synchronized public and private efforts, our local product- recognition worldwide can help to support and develop our island communities.

Re-inventing does not only stop with our support to the islands’ small and medium enterprise sector; it demands a higher level of commitment and planning to attract large businesses to the islands. Our capability to leverage our small and big successes will help us to attract more investment to the territory. The strategic location of our beautiful islands in the Caribbean and our affiliation with the United States offer incredible opportunities for economic growth. However, to gain maximum advantage we would have to think globally, effectively position ourselves not only as a tourist destination but also as an investment paradise for global businesses. In doing so, we would be increasing the awareness and existence of the Virgin Islands as a tourist and business hub, while at the same time, our efforts will be reaping the benefits in the form of foreign investment, national interest and an increase in the standard of living among our citizens. In any way that we look at this, planning for long term economic stability is a good idea. All that is required is the ability to understand the present and carefully plan for the future.

It goes without saying, such changes across the board do not happen over night; nor should the responsibility to bring about these long term changes be given to any one sector. To expect institutional changes, everyone from business owners to the government must play their role. We can all contribute by ensuring that the small acts we perform in our capacity, help to project the Virgin Islands forward. After all, the future prosperity of our islands will determine what we will leave for our children to inherit. 

 Posted by: Syed Gilani

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