British Virgin Islands Department of Trade & Consumer Affairs

In February 2021, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) replaced the Department of Trade & Investment Promotion with a new regulatory agency aimed toward improving trade relations.

The newly established Department of Trade & Consumer Affairs will generate programmes and policies and also take on projects to boost private sector growth investment and local entrepreneurship.  It will essentially handle all matters regarding trade, business, investment, and consumer affairs.

Shereen Flax-Chares, Junior Minister for Trade & Economic Development, said that the goal was to simplify government’s procedures in order to minimize business and other costs.  The BVI government further sought to diversify the economy and generate employment opportunities.

The commission will also make sure consumes receive the best products, form global partnerships, and find global markets for BVI’s imports and exports.

Premier Andrew Fahie commented that the BVI, in light of COVID-19, could not continue to simply see itself as an island in the global business world.  It could either attempt to try to catch-up or create strategies for finding new ways to discover unchartered territory.  He hoped this part of the agency would restructure BVI’s economy and business prepare it  to become more competitive on the global level.

There are two units within the department:

Consumer Affairs Unit

The Consumer Affairs Unit monitors business actions, advises consumers on their rights and obligations, looks out for adverse trade practices, and investigates consumer complaints.

National Business Bureau

The BVI government explicitly formed the National Business Bureau for the Micro, Small & Medium Sized Enterprises sector (most of the businesses in the Caribbean), so that that each can realize their full potential.

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