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VIEDA Initiative to Focus on Attracting Investment in Vision 2040 Industries, South Shore Trade Zone

OCO Global LLC consultants and VIEDA officials meet with USVI Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. at Government House on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. This meeting was an opportunity for OCO Global LLC, consultants to learn about Gov. Bryan’s vision for the trajectory of the USVI economy and his awareness of the challenges USVI residents and the local business community are experiencing. OCO Global, LLC, consultants were in the territory from August 14-18, 2023 for a week-long series of discussions with various USVI community stakeholders to gather information that can assist in OCO Global LLC’s development of a global marketing campaign to attract business investment to the territory. (Photograph by Celina D. Morris/VIEDA)

As part of ongoing efforts to implement Vision 2040, the territory’s 20-year economic development strategy and action plan, the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) has launched a global marketing campaign to attract new investment to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the target industry sectors identified in Vision 2040.

Following a competitive bidding process, VIEDA has contracted with OCO Global Limited (OCO), an international marketing firm focused on trade, investment and economic development to devise a strategy that promotes the U.S. Virgin Islands as a premier business destination.

This campaign will include a full rebranding of VIEDA and the development of a foreign direct investment strategy for the territory. OCO will also conduct a comprehensive competitor and benchmark analysis to help devise a marketing strategy, as well as identify activities to position the territory more prominently before potential investors, site selectors and investment advisors.

The campaign will also focus on building a comprehensive plan to promote the South Shore Trade Zone Program. VIEDA’s newest economic development tool, this program offers attractive tax incentives for up to 20 years to eligible companies that start, relocate or expand into the designated area on St. Croix’s south shore. The aim of this segment of the campaign is to identify, pursue and attract anchor activities to the trade zone that will transform St. Croix into a logistical hub for trade, industry and commerce in the region.

Wayne L. Biggs Jr., USVIEDA’s chief executive officer, expressed optimism about the campaign launch. “This is an exciting time in USVIEDA’s history,” Biggs said. “Because this agency led the development of Vision 2040, the territory now has a blueprint that we can use for economic growth and prosperity. This global marketing campaign is a major part of the overall strategy to place the USVI on the world stage as a viable and prime location for business investment. I also look forward to welcoming the first investors into the trade zone program.”

Vision 2040 was completed in March 2021. Since then, it has been used as a guide for other territorial action plans, such as the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Tourism Master Plan and the V.I. Agricultural Plan.

Vision 2040 is a community-based plan that outlines eight target industry sectors based on input collected from residents and Virgin Islanders living abroad. VIEDA’s global marketing campaign and the South Shore Trade Zone strategy will be aligned with these sectors:

  1. Agribusiness
  2. Professional and technical services
  3. Coastal/ocean resources
  4. Renewable energy
  5. Health sciences
  6. Research and development
  7. Light manufacturing and
  8. VI-style tourism.

To learn more about Vision 2040 or the South Shore Trade Zone program, visit www.usvieda.org or email info@usvieda.org.

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