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Collaborate And Not Compete With The United States Virgin Islands

by Dickson Igwe
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Resident columnist Dickson Igwe

This first of two articles argues that in today’s highly interconnected and networked world, collaboration prevails over competition.

This is despite the pushback against globalization, by a number of authoritarian rulers and states.   

One crucial lesson the UK is learning post leaving the European Community- BREXIT- is the reality that it is unwise to walk away from a huge market and political bloc close to your country.

Yes, regional markets have rules to follow. Regional organizations pool the power of member nations for the benefit of countries in the region. Then there is the further caveat that market regulations dictate the parameters within which market members operate.

For the global marketplace, this denotes a loss of sovereignty, or better-stated shared sovereignty.

However, markets are rising tides that lift people and businesses to greater prosperity across cultures and geographies. That is the central idea behind market capitalism.

A simple trip to Paris or any European Union City in Northwest Europe by a UK traveler will reveal to that traveler from the UK the folly of Brexit.

British travelers have to queue at a number of European Union airports in long lines for non-European travelers; UK businesses face EU tariffs and EU regulations while their European counterparts face much less regulation ; there is a clear difference between the seamless rail links within the European Continent and those in the UK. Travel between major cities of Europe is seamless, pleasant, and convenient, once the traveler leaves Britain. Europe is in effect a single jurisdiction in terms of markets and travel.

Cooperation between European leaders who belong to one single marketplace has enhanced physical security, infrastructure development, and economic growth.

Yes, there are the drawbacks: loss of some sovereignty for Union Countries, and the imposition of rules and regulations uniformly followed.

A single currency is the loss of national currencies. However most Europeans will readily assert that the single currency and a European Common Market is more convenient and business friendly.

On the continent of Africa, there is the belief that if Africa possessed a single market it would have prevented war, poverty, and horrific governance.

Now, The British Virgin Islands and United States Virgin Islands share a common geography and a close social and cultural history. Both jurisdictions are a good analogy for what is happening in Europe, and why cooperation and collaboration are better than competition and even conflict in the journey towards greater social and economic prosperity.

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Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe is an education official in the Virgin Islands. He is also a national sea safety instructor. He writes a national column across media and has authored a story book on the Caribbean: ‘The Adventures of a West Indian Villager’. Dickson is focused on economics articles, and he believes economics holds the answer to the full economic and social development of the Caribbean. He is of both West African and Caribbean heritage. Dickson is married with one son.


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