2022 BUDGETARY APPROPRIATIONS: Ministry of Economic Development, Investment, Commerce, Information Technology and Natural Resources

The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

In his 2022 Budget Address to the House of Assembly on January 4, 2022, the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance and Health, Ellis L. Webster, MD, presented the following regarding funding for the operations of this Ministry, and Departments, for the year 2022:

The Ministry of Economic Development has for its 2022 budget – EC$12.95 million. This reflects an increase of 10 % or EC$4.24 million over the 2021 recurrent budget allocation of EC$8.71 million. The increase is due mainly to planned consultancy for an E-Government Policy, increased staffing for the Department of Statistics and increased provision for maintenance services for various government departments’ digital systems.

The Ministry’s plan is to focus on developing a Long Term National Sustainable Development Plan to guide Anguilla’s development for the next twenty years, and a series of initiatives designed to improve investor confidence in doing business in Anguilla, build economic resilience and increase food production:

1. Investment Promotion. With the development of a new investment promotion framework, the Ministry will establish mechanisms to ensure a more positive investor experience.
a. An investment promotion online platform will be used to raise awareness of investment opportunities and fiscal incentives and as a means of engagement with investors.
b. Fiscal incentives legislation will be introduced to the House which will formally establish and standardise the incentives being provided by Government as a means of attracting investment.

2. Improve Ease of Doing Business and Digitise the Delivery of Public Services. The Ministry will develop an e-Government policy and strategy to provide an overarching framework and context for its e-Government’s efforts.
a. Digitalising delivery of government services, programmes and information.
b. Creating methods to pay digitally for goods and services including taxes.
c. Removing silos from information transfer so government departments and agencies can share information, maintain records and improve data flow.
d. The Department of Information Technology and E-Government Services (DITES) will continue to work with Government Departments to offer more services online so that customers can transaction business virtually.
e. DITES will increase its efforts to ensure that Government employees have access to the technology and collaboration tools required for reliable, scalable and flexible work.

3. Economic Resilience. The Ministry of Economic Development will facilitate investment which diversifies the tourism product by:
a. Encouraging investment in marina development and work with investors to realise the commencement of marina projects.
b. Proposing legislation which facilitates the development of a high-quality, well-regulated gaming industry which will provide additional opportunities for investment and cater to the diverse interests of our clientele.
c. Actively pursuing the development of medical schools and other similar institutions which will have positive spin-off effects on the economy.
d. Actively pursuing the commencement of an offshore fishing licensing regime as a means of tapping into the economic potential of Anguilla’s blue resources.
e. Expanding support to the agricultural sector in order to improve the methods of food production and the quality and volume of outputs by transitioning from traditional farming to more climate-resilient methods using technological innovation.
f. Establishing the Anguilla Marijuana Commission to develop a roadmap for the development of a sustainable marijuana industry in Anguilla.

4. Population and Housing Census. The Ministry is committed to undertaking the Anguilla Population and Housing Census this year which will provide critical information on the social and economic characteristics of our population. Significant resources are dedicated to the conduct of this census within the 2022 Budget.