TCI: Supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) government, in pursuing its goal of reestablishing the small and medium business sector as a national priority, in Nov 2015 passed a new Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Bill, which encourages the establishment of new businesses as well as lend the much needed support to those currently in operation.
Premier and minister of health, agriculture and human services, Dr Rufus Ewing, who led on the development of the SME initiative noted “The priority areas identified in the bill are also significant as we seek to diversify our economic activity from over reliance on Tourism as the bread basket of the country and to strategically develop national food security to enable a reduction on dependency on imports. But we know that tourism is currently our most lucrative market and as Turks and Caicos Islanders, we need to be positioned to benefit from the financial gains and that can be done by setting up our own businesses and offering attractions that tourists can participate in.
Manufacturing is an untapped frontier of enterprise in the TCI. An evolution has begun in recent times with a gradual shift towards this type of industry fed by high demand through the visiting tourists and the close proximity to major markets. The market for products made locally has grown in tandem with the vast economic and tourism development that has occurred in the islands. The tourism sector, which brings over 1 million visitors a year, provides a regular demand for local goods, from food and drink to souvenirs, from construction materials to items of furniture and interior design. The favourable tax laws in TCI provide significant benefits to TCI based light manufacturing. TCI Government is beginning to explore the introduction of green technologies to the islands and wishes to encourage private sector developers to pursue manufacturing projects in this field.