Some say the TCI is the envy of the Caribbean but what is there to envy given the complexity of doing business in TCI. We also love to refer to our destination as a high end destination but the processes of doing business are not conducive for a high end destination. In fact it is a deterrent for any destination.
Perhaps these issues are universal to other Caribbean countries and if it is so, these issues are unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
Presentation of Identification cards multiple times
Some organizations in TCI may already have a valid ID of you for a past transaction but when opening new accounts, you have to go through the same process of supplying IDs.
These organizations and companies should maintain an electronic database of all their clients and this database should include the valid ID. When the ID expires, then the client should be contacted for updated IDs.
Opening of a bank account
Opening a bank account especially for a business can be a lengthy process and with so much paperwork. Sometimes it can take two weeks
I understand due diligence must take place but some of these individuals already have a personal account. Why the process can’t be expedited especially if you have a personal account. Accounts should be opened within 24 hours and all that paperwork should be replaced with electronic application. As a foreigner in the US, I was able to open a bank account within less than an hour in the US.
While most organizations have a list of requirements for conducting business, you submit your application waiting for approval. After following up on the application, you are then told you need this and that. Sometimes it also depends on who is processing the application.
When an application is presented, vetting should take place at the same time with the presenter to ensure there are no delays.
Lost documents continue to take place in certain government departments and as a result individuals and companies have to start the process over which creates further delays and expenses.
All documents presented to the departments should be scanned. In fact it is about time that all government departments and businesses accept all applications electronically.
It is who you know
It appears that sometimes in order to get things done swiftly, you have to call someone with authority
All applications should be treated equally and given expected response time. However, due to the waiting time, some of us have to contact those in authority in order to expedite the process.
The work permit process
Even though you apply several months in advance for a renewal of a work permit, unfortunately by the time the work permit is in your possession, it is time for the renewal process to commence.
The work permit process needs to be expedited. Applications should be processed online and completed within 6 weeks.
Another issue businesses face is recruiting the right employees. Given the brain drain due to the exodus of skilled locals, it is a challenge and so you are forced to work with what is in the local labour pool. In addition, some employees do not have the right attitude towards their employment. In fact, some just want the money.
We must provide incentives to our locals to return home once they complete their education. We must always encourage individuals to have the right attitude and find a job that they enjoy.
Insufficient support for small businesses
Small businesses are the largest growing sector in most counties but the support from the Government, the banks and the community is inadequate.
We must recognize the small business as a powerful sector and find ways and means to help them grow rather than saying no to them most of the time. If we can provide concessions to these condo developers, then we should provide concessions to the small businesses.
I believe most of us know the aforementioned issues but we are quiet about it. Some of us want to paint a false picture of our country to entice investors to our shores but the truth of the matter is, these issues not only affect investors but all of us.
We need to address them and implement solutions quickly especially if we want to compete with the rest of the region.