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TCI: Savory favors investor residency status, heralds KPMG economic report, says Caicos link is economic lifeline

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, Monday May 21, 2018 – A report by #KPMG is expected to expose exactly what the Turks and Caicos needs to hear about its economy and its economic potential in the Financial Services thanks to a state of the industry assessment which will be completed in a matter of weeks. 

 The subject and advent of the economic report was touted in the third annual #BordierBank(TCI) Investment Conference held May 16-18 2018 at Beaches Resort Villages and Spa in Providenciales.  

 Peter Savory, director of Chartered Trust and Savory & Associates, both in the Turks and Caicos Islands, was among the opening ceremony speakers and said the Turks and Caicos is certainly in a period of transition.

 Mr. Savory cited the shift in the financial services is evidenced in, among other things, the arduous re-registering of every company in the islands in time for an October deadline due to new requirements of a re-booted Companies Ordinance; updated for the first time in 37 years, he said.

But Mr. Savory, in his remarks, largely focused on how to make investing more attractive to multi-millionaires who are dawdling on the fence, instead of taking the plunge.

“…what I think it is going to contain, and if I am right, it is going to say that TCI has very good potential in the area of private trust companies and there is a very interesting aspect I suppose or  feature in there for Trusts to own company shares that I think will have good potential…” Savory whose LinkedIn profile says he is a financial graduate of the University of Auckland added, I believe we have a great future in attracting high net worth individuals here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”  

Peter Savory believes the Turks and Caicos would be on the winning side if it were to establish a quota of how many investors could attain legal residency, which would or could be tied to the type and value of investment these qualifiers would be prepared to make.

 “I have been told that the Cayman Islands has a quota for residency certificates that they have never met.  Now is it because there is more due diligence, that it is extremely robust or is it that they have just not been successful enough in marketing their residency program.  Whatever the reason, there are great parallels to draw with places like the Cayman Islands…”

Savory said while he is not suggesting citizenship for the wealthy investors, he believes it may help the sector if there was more structure and a plan to sweeten the pot for inward investment to bolster the country’s number two industry.

I think our future lies in trying to attract people where they have the capacity to invest good amounts of money…” Peter Savory explained that he is already having referrals of people who are in the Turks and Caicos, average people who have been extremely successful and who are willing to pump millions into the economy via the financial services if they were given some sort of investor status; he continued, “and it is certainly something that I am actively lobbying the government on.”

Mr. Savory talked about alternative investment and touted an infrastructural addition to link the Caicos Islands.

 “Imagine a road bridge, a bridge connecting the island of Providenciales and #NorthCaicos and how that might change the economic face of the Turks and Caicos Islands if we were to open up North Caicos and #MiddleCaicos, which are joined by causeway an are potentially three times the size of Providenciales; Providenciales itself being twice the land there in Bermuda. Bermuda having a population of 60,000 people.”

Mr. Savory sees a bounty of potential in this infrastructural enhancement, which as been touted for decades but remains undone; an economic  and development dream unrealized.   

“And it could be made to tie in quite nicely with an investment product and with other things such as a permanent residency program to make it a viable alternative.”  

Kenrick Walters, Chief Risk Officer at Bordier Bank TCI, who has seen a draft of the document said of the KPMG report that, “I can’t get ahead of the Premier (who is also finance Minister) in saying what is in that report, but I can tell you that it addresses some of the major concerns that we have faced in the industry for a long time.  Immigration, business licenses, business processes in general; things like dispute resolutions at the courts, all of these issues and all of these areas will be addressed and the Premier has committed to looking at the industry from a holistic standpoint and working with the private sector, with regulators and so on to really change the game.”

The KPMG survey team arrives in the country this week.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

TCI Tourist Board – Represented at New York Travel & Adventure Show

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Manhattan, New York (Friday, February 3, 2023) – The Turks and Caicos Islands recently participated in the successful New York Travel & Adventure Show held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, New York from Saturday, January 28th – Sunday, January 29th. The event was New York’s largest travel gathering since 2019, providing the perfect platform to showcase the Turks and Caicos Islands and its unique luxury offerings as a multi-island destination. This was part of a larger effort by the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board to showcase the destination at several major travel shows in the United States.

Mary Lightbourne, the Acting Director of Tourism, and Gabriel Saunders, the Senior Public Relations Officer, proudly represented the Turks and Caicos Islands at the event and emphasized its status as a premium travel destination. During the event, they engaged with travel enthusiasts, media outlets, influencers, and more to further increase visibility about the World’s Top Trending Travel Destination for Fall 2022. Visitors at the booth were given informational brochures on the destination and treated to a tasting of Bambarra rum, as well as Bambarra rum cakes. As a special souvenir, they were also gifted Beach Buddies keychains, designed as queen conch shells, spiny lobsters, Turks Head cacti, flamingos, and pelicans – symbolizing the coat of arms of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“The New York Travel & Adventure Show was an ideal platform to facilitate us bringing the stunning beauty and diverse offerings of the Turks and Caicos Islands to a massive audience of travel enthusiasts”, stated Mary Lightbourne. “Through this opportunity, we were able to foster valuable connections with key industry leaders and share our islands’ captivating allure with travel lovers in a significant source market”, added Lightbourne.

Attendees had the chance to interact with the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board’s representatives and learn about the destination’s diverse offerings, including world-class beaches, turquoise waters, luxury resorts, and vibrant culture.

“We were honoured to showcase the distinctive character of our destination and provide attendees with a taste of the local flavours and products that make our tourism product truly remarkable,” said Gabriel Saunders. “The Turks and Caicos Islands offers an unparalleled travel experience and we were grateful for the opportunity to inspire more people to come discover its beauty” added Saunders.

The New York Travel & Adventure Show was a two-day event that brought together top travel experts, destinations, and cultural attractions from around the world to provide inspiration and information to travel enthusiasts. The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board also represented the destination at the recent Chicago Travel & Adventure Show and will be an exhibitor at the upcoming Atlanta Travel & Adventure Show and the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show.

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Caribbean News

The Idea that became an Iconic Event for Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 2, 2023 – An idea executed to perfection with the help of the entire Turks and Caicos community, that’s Island Fish Fry.  Born 10 years ago, in January 2013, it was a partnership between the Government, Private institutions, vendors and supporters all working together to make develop an authentic TCI experience; today it is an indisputable success.

Since its inception, Island Fish Fry has become a staple of the TCI community.   It’s where you can get your T-shirts to Lobster Mac and Cheese, a taste of Monkey Bag rum or TCI brewed beer, natural coconut water in branded coconut mugs, the oceanic beauty captured in charms and household items or glittering handmade bangles with entrepreneurs and crafters clamouring for their space at the ‘Fry’.

We spoke to several people who told us about the history of the event and what they love most about the evolution and realization of Island Fish Fry Ralph Higgs, Former TCI Tourist Board Director under whose direction the event was conceptualised recalled its beginnings.

“I do remember my first Fish Fry, it was the 29th of January 2013— It came as a result of many of our local businesses, mainly restaurants and other businesses featured at the fish fry saying ‘we don’t have an avenue or an outlet where tourists can come and try our products’.  Hence the idea of a weekly fish fry where tourists can come and try our products, try the cuisine, see the art and craft and then go on to enjoy it.”

Higgs says the event is a source of pride especially considering its capacity to nurture the arts in young Turks and Caicos Islanders

“Well I feel proud of the event but more so many of our local businesses and artisans that have found themselves at fish fry,” he used Wellington Williams, one of the country’s most prolific jewellery makers, as an example, “I remember him as a little boy trying to find his way in that business and he approached us at the Tourist Board for space at the Fish Fry and we were delighted to have him display his art. I think the rest is history. He is a success story by every definition and there are many others who have been able to find their footing because of the event.”

In a decade, the well-loved event has not faltered, only inclement weather and the Covid-19 pandemic have the reputation of putting the brakes on the outdoor festivity which features live music, community dancers, on the grill cooking and picnic styled eating.  Yet, even those challenges were overcome.

In 2021, Josephine Connolly became the country’s newest Minister of Tourism and in our chat with her about Island Fish Fry, Connolly described her elation when she was able to lead a team into resuming the event, finally.

“Fish Fry belongs to the people of this country— We made a concerted effort to make sure that a sense of normalcy returned to the people of this country, our tourist arrivals [had] continued to increase during COVID therefore we had to continue with the fish fry to ensure that our guests received their TCI flavour though it.  I am elated that Fish Fry returned and the entire Turks and Caicos and our guests are elated.”

Higgs praised the continuity of the event highlighting the vendors, musicians, entertainers, crafters, officials and others who have persevered to ensure there was a rich range of Turks and Caicos creativity and culinary skill on display week after week.

“There were many who came and showed support and many of them are still at the fish fry playing music, selling their goods and services and I’m so proud of all of them.”

Island Fish Fry celebrated its ten year anniversary on Thursday January 26th 2023.

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Bahamas News

Consumer protection, 85 businesses to be put under watch 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

February 2, 2023 – Grocery stores and dozens of other businesses will be under the microscope soon as the government begins aggressively enforcing the Consumer Protection Ordinance passed back in 2016 with an all-new Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement (C.A.R.E) Drive.

Carried out by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition the drive aims to “actively educate providers whilst enforcing the main provisions to protect consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance,” a press release explained.

Firstly, Consumer Officers charged with protecting the people of the TCI from unfair business practices will be assessing the prices of selected breadbasket items in 23 different stores countrywide each month to see whether price gouging is being carried out by businesses.

Breadbasket items are currently duty-free under the Food and Fuel Tax Break until the end of the financial year in March and all savings from those tax exemptions should be passed on directly to the consumer. After each assessment, which will continue for several months at least a monthly price report will be published on the Department of Trade’s website.

In addition, the Consumer Officers will be monitoring other business activities across the country “to ensure that providers are compliant with their duties to consumers.”

Those responsibilities include:

  • Giving customers certain basic information about goods and services being sold;
  •  Informing consumers about terms and conditions before any payment is made (e.g., warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, etc.) and;
  • Abstaining from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representation and unfair business practices.

The government says they will reach at least 85 businesses with the C.A.R.E. Drive but they did not indicate the process behind how these businesses had been singled out. Non-compliant ones will be fined after a thorough investigation and warnings are issued by the Department of Trade.

With this in mind, business owners are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with their duties under the Ordinance lest they be caught in breach. The government did not say what entities would be assessed and whether that included major retail grocery stores, gasoline dealers, water companies, electricity providers, telecommunications companies and other essential providers of the services that all islanders spend on.

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