In honor of National Economic Development Week, May 9-13, the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) has released a virtual roundtable featuring local industry leaders. The 40-minute presentation titled “Leveraging Public/Private Partnerships to Boost USVI Business Investment” details how economic development programs and incentives have enabled growth in four vital business sectors of the US economy. US Virgin Islands.
A candid conversation – between the tourism, manufacturing, technology and energy, and small business sectors – delved into the issues facing businesses. Representing the different sectors of activity, the panelists Zakaria Jehangir, president of St. Croix Renaissance Park; Rich Difede, owner of Gold Coast Yachts; Lisa Hamilton, President of the VI Hotel & Tourism Association; and Akeel St. Jean Esq., president of the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce. The panel was moderated by VIEDA CEO Wayne L. Biggs Jr.
Each discussed how VIEDA programs and incentives have proven beneficial to their industry and contributed to the development and growth of existing and new businesses in the territory. For example, tourism-focused incentive programs resulted in the reconstruction of two hurricane-ravaged large-scale resorts in St. Thomas.
In addition, VIEDA’s trade zone program coupled with a world-class container port in St. Croix is expected to increase manufacturing and assembly of products bearing the “Made in the USA” designation. USVI’s tax incentives have also been credited with making investing in the territory financially attractive.
While government automation was applauded for speeding up the license approval and renewal process, the panel offered insights into areas for future business development. These include overhauling the excise tax system, boosting workforce development to expand career opportunities for locals, and embracing alternative energy by expanding tax credits. renewables and energy sharing initiatives for businesses and residences.
CEO Wayne Biggs Jr. launched the video project to highlight successes and identify areas where public-private partnerships can continue to positively affect business growth in the USVI.
“VIEDA is dedicated to attracting and supporting businesses for long-term success with the overall health of the community at the forefront. Our goal is to provide a business-friendly public/private partnership to accelerate economic growth and development. With our resilient and strengthened infrastructure, USVI presents a rare opportunity for innovative business investment,” said Biggs.
The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/et5UX7WxXFk. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Economic Development Week was created in 2016 by the International Economic Development Council – the largest international trade association for economic developers – to raise awareness of local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities and improve the quality of life in communities around the world.
For a complete recap of published virtual events, visit VIEDA’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and/or Twitter pages, or visit VIEDA’s website at https://www.usvieda.org/ economic-development-week-2022.