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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.

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TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Anya Williams, chaired the 19th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 22 June 2022 in Grand Turk. All other members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the terms and conditions for an application from a land surveyor for a licence.
  • Approved the making of the Revised Edition of the Laws 2021 (Commencement Order) 2022 subject to the approval of the House of Assembly; laws will be now be made available free of charge to members of the public on the Attorney General’s website. Physical reproductions will continue to be sold.
  • Discussed proposed amendments to the Insurance Ordinance as drafting instructions to the Attorney General’s Chambers and consultation with the industry.
  • Approved for the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022 to be introduced to the House of Assembly as soon as possible.
  • Approved the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023 for office furniture and supplies; confirmed annual payments for the annual membership costs to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Agencies (FIA) and annual costs of the FIA’s travel costs for the Egmont annual meeting.
  • Approved a three year rental lease agreement for the relocation of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, religious Affairs and Gaming, and the Tourist Board and Department of Culture in Providenciales.
  • Approved a lease agreement for a temporary HQ for the Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment in Providenciales.
  • Was updated on the proposed merger of NIB/NHIP Compliance and Collections. Further consideration was requested before Cabinet can take a decision.
  • Noted the award of the following contracts in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance:
  1. PN 005600, TR 21/48, Furniture and equipment for Mental Health Facility – Grand Turk
  2. PN 005611, TR 21/30, Ballistic Vests for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force

III. PN 005614, TR 21/37, Bellefield Landing Civilian Safety Project – Safe Boat Slips

  1. PN 005627, TR 21/53, Furniture and Equipment for Public Works Programme Management
  2. PN 005630, TR 21/08, Vehicles for Government (resubmission)
  • Approved for a request from American Airlines to waive the import customs duties and customs processing fees for replacement parts for an aircraft that had an emergency landing on Providenciales to be forwarded to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
  • Noted a paper from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) for legislative amendments to be made to the TCIAA Ordinance to regulate industrial action by employees of the TCIAA. Cabinet requested further consideration. Proposed amendments will be considered by the House of Assembly for approval in due course.
  • Approved the grant of a long lease to an applicant for a funeral home and cemetery on 60003/231 PT (2.5 ACRES)

 

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Turks & Caicos Islands Government retains it BBB+ credit rating

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#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – On the 29th of March 2022, Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P) released the results of the review of the 2021 sovereign credit rating for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). S&P has affirmed the country’s sovereign credit rating for long-term bonds, denominated in both domestic and foreign currency, of BBB+. Additionally, the agency also maintained the outlook as Stable for the TCI.

The Rating Agency advised that the stable outlook takes into account that the country’s economy will continue to recover given the strong performance of tourism and will improve in 2022. Furthermore, S&P believes the TCI will continue to adhere to prudent financial management and limit borrowing, and that fiscal reserve balances will increase during the next two years. Additionally, the rating agency also expects continuity in TCI’s institutional relationship with the U.K.

In its report, the rating agency advised that the rationale for the rating was a result of the Country’s institutional and economic profile. That is, the economic recovery led by resurgence in tourism and continued institutional stability. S&P indicated that despite the short-term pressures of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the TCI Government’s prudent actions, aided by the U.K.’s swift transfer of vaccines, allowed international travel to resume as early as the first quarter of 2021. The combination of the Government’s swift response, coupled with pent-up demand in key source markets, led to a strong recovery in tourism, which in turn, has led to a better-than anticipated economic recovery. S&P estimates GDP per capita to be $23,674 in 2021, up from $20,757 in 2020 – a 14% year over year increase. Tourism remains the core pillar of the economy, indirectly accounting for about 65% of GDP.

S&P indicated that the ratings could be revised upwards if better-than-expected GDP increases and continued favorable growth prospects were to substantially boost economic resilience. Additionally, the rating agency also stated that they could also raise the ratings if better availability of timely data, especially on external flows and stocks, were to boost transparency and indicated that TCI enjoyed a significantly stronger economic or external position.

However, if the rebound in tourism is interrupted or turns out to be weaker than expected, leading to prolonged stress on revenues, this may cause the TCI Government to run persistent fiscal deficits that could materially worsen public finances. This could lead to a down grading of the rating.

Commenting on the rating, Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade, Hon. E. Jay Saunders, stated that “I am happy and extremely proud that S&P saw fit to maintain our country’s credit rating at BBB+, particularly at a time when many countries had theirs downgraded – mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the strength of our economy, and particularly, our government’s prudent handling of it. We have taken particular note of S&P’s comment that they could raise the ratings on better availability of timely data, and we are working towards achieving that.”

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Education

TCI Agriculture launches Plant Clinic

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – These days anything can be online, even a plant clinic! The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture wants to help budding and experienced farmers with any plant issues they may have and their new Online Plant Clinic is their solution to help as many Islanders as possible.

Launched on Thursday, June 16 the clinic will operate through Facebook. Individuals with sick plants or pest issues will be required to take a photo of the issue and upload that photo to the department of Agriculture’s Facebook page.

Answers to issues will be given once a month, on every third Thursday, via a public video so all Islanders can have access. The launch was attended by Chief Plant Protection Officer-CPPO Roneta Huntley Thomas, Director of Agriculture Wilhelmina Kissoonsingh, Minister of Agriculture Josephine Connolly, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones.

Connolly urged residents to “grow your own food and grow TCI.”

Attendees of the launch were allowed to participate in games trying to identify different diseases for a chance at prizes. Residents can now immediately start sending in their photos on the Facebook page.

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