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Investment(s): We should be the Primary Investors

October 6th, 2018 | Tags: Donald E. de Castro investments
Donald E. de Castro. Photo: VINO/File
By Donald E. de Castro

Greed started taking this Territory on its way to self-destruction when it first embraced financial services and our political leaders and many business leaders have continued to encourage it.

Let me also say that there are religious leaders that do the same.

When greed takes over, morals, pride, integrity, honesty and respect are removed from one’s vocabulary.


Over the years all the governments were so busy trying to benefit themselves and their cronies that the lack of foresight caused so much of our land and islands to be lost and not adhering to the Alien Land Holding Act.

Even when it was brought to their attention of its weakness no one cared to correct it.

They used the excuse of development and investment.

Now, the present government and other Candidates for the upcoming election are all focused on investment.

They are so concern in giving away the rest of the Territory that some are even willing to give foreign investors the right to live here and do as they wish (including allowing them to ban Belongers and visitors from our beaches) for a few dollars.

Those that understand have a moral responsibility to help those that do not understand that investment and development is suppose to benefit the people of the Territory.

Selling (giving away) our land and islands is not to the best interest of the people of this Territory.

Legal & Moral Responsibility

When foreign investors come to this Territory, they come for one reason; to make money.

Residents invest their money for the same reason, therefore our government have moral and legal responsibility to ensure that our local investors do not face unreasonable competition by foreign investors.

There are issues with both investors. Here are two issues that I have.

When foreign investors come they are allowed to bring in all their top executives, which I have no problem with.

The issue here is, these companies should be required to train Belongers for these positions so that when their work permit expires Belongers can fill that position.

With small investors, government should assist and encourage Belongers to learn the business and be in a position to buy it rather than one foreign investor selling to another expatriate.

Facts & Statistics

Sometimes the employees do not know that the business is being sold.

With local investors, some look at their competitors as their enemy, some do not want to hire Belongers, and some, while making their money here do not want to spend their money here.

Some of these same people complain when expatriates send their money out of the territory.

With all the talk and proposals, I hear from this government and other future political candidates, I am personally at a loss as to their understanding as to who should be the primary investor and beneficiary of investment and development.

Facts and statistics have proven that small businesses are the major contributor of their community. While big businesses may employ large numbers of persons, small businesses collectively, have and will always employ more people and be the backbone of a community.

Therefore it is extremely important that all locally owned businesses; big, medium and small must work together for the benefit of all.

Big business should be willing to offer advice and assistance to small businesses as well as small business should be willing to accept advice and suggestions.

In many instances big business benefit a lot from small businesses.

Employment Opportunity

Here is one example. Many times, persons seeking employment for the first time that do not have any particular skills and work experience depends on small businesses for that first employment opportunity.

This is where many employees get work experience in order to move forward in their lives.

So big business gets the vast majority of entry level employees from this source.

Another example of interdependence between big and small business is where small retailers depend on wholesalers from which they need to purchase their merchandise for retail.

Until the persons that we elect understands that “we should be the primary investors in our own home” and that small business is the backbone of any community, we will continue to go in the wrong direction.

5 Responses to “Investment(s): We should be the Primary Investors”

  • The TRUTH (06/10/2018, 20:03) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Good article Mr. DeCastro but its half past late. There is something screwed in the psyche of Virgin Islanders. According to the ole people "only God know where we goin end up."
  • No De CasTrump (06/10/2018, 23:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The system is rigged for locals. That’s fine and good. The system also makes it too difficult for people to do business and the attitudes and infrastructure more so. So people choose elsewhere were we should have taken opportunities.

    Giving land away in the way you talk of is completely disingenuous. There is no market here as it is killed off to Belongers and the population won’t grow as long term residents are afforded no reward for their commitment and investment, as they would be elsewhere. Since Irma, pretty much every property here is for sale and only the cronies you talk of have the cash to buy and precious few have otherwise been sold. Many properties will decay for years as there is no local market and outsiders see here as a place that doesn’t want their business.

    We need better skills transferred and taught here, we need proper schools, we need population and economic growth that is managed and high skilled. We need better facilities, amenities, healthcare etc. The opportunity is now but will the DeCastrumps kill it?
    • Outsider (08/10/2018, 13:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Donald, Sir, I agree with you that a great deal in the VI is being destroyed. One looks at what's going on at Pockwood Pond and Cox's Heath and there's little doubt about it.

      But you echo the lament that "expatriates send their money out of the territory". Yes, indeed; most do and I speak from experience there. Reasons? Because the property market and opening of businesses is already so heavily stacked against them. Where does that leave things: it leaves the territory with a dysfunctional illiquid property market where stuff sits for sale for years in turn discouraging anyone, local or foreign, from further investment.

      As to the idea that foreign experts can simply train up their replacements. Go for it, and see where that leaves investment and the businesses concerned. My guess, bankrupt. Alas, life is not so simple and acquisition of skills isn't either. It's not easy to replicate in a population pool of 20,000 the skills and experience that exist across a planet of 7 billion. That's not to say we should not try to some extent, but if the economy is to tick along in any way OK, a bit of realism is needed too.

      Tighten things up yet further at the territory's economic peril.*

      *nostalgic visions of a fishing and farming based past notwithstanding - the "people" must eat - it's not 1918.
  • E. Leonard (07/10/2018, 12:55) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    A key factor for attaining economic independence is locals controlling key sectors of the economy. Locals investing in the economy is good for economy and keeps money local that has a multiplier effect on the economy. Nonetheless, foreign direct investment may be needed. However, it just needs to be a win-win for and in the best interest of the VI and its people, ie, curent generation and generations yet unborned.
  • donald critic (07/10/2018, 13:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Donald what you are saying makes sense but you are guilty of the same thing you don't like to see young progressive business men from the B.V.I. doing well either. You spend all of your life in USA and when you came back and see us doing well you envy us. Just remember we held the country together so that people like you can come back and meet something to be proud off so ease off of us. No matter how much money a local invests in his own country he is seen as a little local businessman but whenever a foreigner invests he is seen as a big investor. I agree that some of us including the Politicians don't understand how they are destroying the B.V.I for a mere dollar.

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