Investment Authority wants to make it easier to do business in Antigua


In a bid to improve Antigua and Barbuda’s business environment, the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) is considering fostering collaboration across key economic sectors.

The nation has slipped in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, currently standing at 113th out of 190 economies.

Garfield Joseph, the newly appointed Executive Director at ABIA, proposes the creation of a comprehensive online toolkit to simplify the business registration process.

Emphasizing the need for cooperation across sectors, Joseph envisions a streamlined experience for prospective business owners.

He stresses the importance of reducing bureaucracy, empowering people, and fostering partnerships with government entities, the Employers Federation, and the Chamber of Commerce to enhance competitiveness and promote skill development.

Joseph has already initiated discussions with private sector partners to explore collaboration in training and capacity building.

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  1. The most difficult place in the world to start a business is Antigua. I have applied for numerous things that is part of business operation and to date this vital license and tool I have not been able to get.

    My Business would have immediately hired Antiguans, providing well paying jobs, donating at least $100,000 to the village of Bolans and donating technology and equipments to various agencies, institutions and people and even with that, none of the politicians helped by simply demand as a matter of national interest and National security for my application to be decided expeditiously on the merit. None.

    The business also would have substantial impact on tourism, the biggest part of the country’s economy.

    I never once asked a politician to guarantee approval, I simply ask for them to request for it to be decided timely, in a reasonable time.

    The Law allows any minister, senator, police commissioner and deputies, permanent secretaries, etcetera the right to request and even demand such things in the national interest and or national security. Which means anything that they consider to be of National Importance, the laws understands it would be prudent and reasonable for those in authority to have such authority.

    Anyway, it was so difficult trying to start my business that for my mental health (was so frustrating) I gave up on the idea for now on opening my office in Bolans Village, gave up on hiring Bolans villagers, I intended first to donate $1,000,000.00 to bolans village and said, okay let me go to $100,000 because of the time wasted waiting on the board and current government to expedite the decision. Now, I outright give up on donating the $100,000 to the village of Bolans because of how difficult Antigua Government has made it to set up professional businesses, and the lack of interest by the Antigua Government to demand reasonable adjudication of applications as a matter of national interest and National security.

    Bolans Village has now lost out of at least $1,000,000, numerous wireless camera system with monitors, between 5 to 50 jobs, a person you would want to be around because he shares and enjoy sharing, the business having access to billions of dollars (from the funds), enhancement of other local industries that would caused the creation of additional jobs, also the business would have a great impact on crime reduction and safety of all Antiguans and their visitors, etcetera.

    So, Bolans Village, I agree with the article on this site that it is beyond difficult to start a business in Antigua, especially for my Bolans people with the current government agencies, current government bureaucracy and current lack of interest to help those who want to truly make a difference without wanting anything in return. Remember, I want to help because I want to help, not because I want votes, I probably will never run in any elections and I know I am not your type of leader locals like, I make folks wealthy, i am fair, I care and I am always present even where there are no elections. I go above and beyond and look at things in the long run. So, in no way do I qualify for the leaders you want, so I am not interested, plus the cursing out each other is not worth it. So, I am staying maybe forever as a private citizen business owner.

    Bolans Village, you almost had a village trust fund, I literally had the bank prepared it, I wish I could upload pictures here.

    You would have been able to petition/apply for free money up to a certain amount for village purposes which could includes village programs, holiday events for the village, scholarships for villagers in educational institutions, small business grants etcetera, village safety, village transportation, village medical care, village investments, etcetera.

    I literally dreamt of being the first person, a bolans person, to do such a thing. It would have been my honor but I was not able to give the village $1 million and now not able to give bolans village the $100,000.00.

    All this was to be done at the opening ceremony of my office, but the current difficulties in opening businesses in Antigua and the lack of government support for government agencies to act timely and reasonably have dropped a wrench into my hopes of being the first village to do such a thing for Bolans Village.

    I literally wanted to do this now. Bolans, you deserve so much better and all I wanted to do is provide that free of cost, as a private villager/citizen.

    I am now interested on what the villagers of Bolans would have done with this donation.

    • You are either lying or deliberately not being clear. It is not difficult to set up a professional business in Antigua. The business registration process simply requires a lawyer, an application and the proper fees being paid. If you really wanted to do something for Bolans, you would have. You could set up cameras without all the hoopla. You could give charitably as well. It sounds more like you were trying to bribe someone and they didn’t take the bait. Come straight.

      • Antigua first, are you telling me ABIA is a liar too?
        You know accepting facts to the facts is not you burning ABLP. You know the only way to better sonething is tp accept it can be bettered because there are faults?

        I see why the ABIA and the world knows it is difficult to open and operate a business in Antigua, folks like Antigua first is in denial and see no places for progress in Antigua. These are the folks you have at the helm of regulatory bodies and government.

        They ignore you pain, suffering and impute immorality on your reputation in hopes that folks are idiots and would believe their ignorance that makes no sense.

        I need a vital tool in the execution of my business, in fact, you would be an idiot to start such kind of business without such tool but some idiots think that it is reasonable, and prudent to start such business without the most appropriate and important tool. The more they speak, the more idiotic they sound but sadly, it works when dealing with dunces and ignorant folks.

        I wanted to open a physical office and I wanted all tools I will vitally need, all licenses that is necessary and prudent.

        When opening I intended to provide jobs, donate things and money, I wanted to do so at opening ceremony of the business, from the business, but have been placed in a situation that unprofessionalism like what this blogger expresses which shows Antigua based on mentality like this would stay in the stone age.

        Reminded me of Trump who says even his own agencies were lying on Russia’s president. Even his own agencies said the election was safe but for some reason this regular blogger can not agree with locals, Antiguans, Antiguan agencies that is difficult to open a professional and big company in Antigua.

        Pertaining to bribery, please do not let me open my mouth but I will not go that far. I do not need too.

        Also, the nonsense about we will make it difficult for you to open business so you hire someone local to make money to do it for you is just outright evil and deceitful.

        I guess I must continue to dream of prudence being used one day in the operations of government and government agencies.

        You guys hate hearing the truth, no substantial progress will happen in Antigua and Bolans.

        All they talk about is fencing and roads, what country in the world is so backwards that to win an election your promises are about fences, water, roads, it should be about more advanced things not basic things that should have already existed but you know why they do not, ignorant folks who are in denial and thinking demanding progress is an attack against their God leader of their political party.

        These are the ignorant folks making up the head of government agencies. That place is cursed.

      • @Antigua First October 5, 2023 At 9:23 am
        No need to expose him. Everyone that is in business, knows how easy it is to setup a company. Actually it is even strange that foreigners can come and setup businesses so easy as well. Just go abroad and try as a foreigner to setup a business. Like in the USA or Canada. For their own nationals it is easy, but they have all sorts of regulations for foreigners. They protect their economy that way. Our economy is mostly owned by foreigners. They go to a law office and the lawyer assists them in everything. Even to have local directors. Even Stanford had local directors while doing business in Antigua as a foreigner. And I will not call names, but they got handsomely paid. Perhaps the last case that drew attention to a local lawyer who was a director in the firm, was the bitcoin company FTX. The lawyer was also a director in the firm and was almost implicated in the entire ordeal.

  2. How nice it would have been if the headline was, “Investment Authority wants to make it easier for Antiguans to do business in Antigua”! Well, you can’t stop an old man from dreaming dreams and seeing visions, can you?

  3. I once more want to congratulate Mr. Joseph on his new appointment. I think he will take this Authority, a creation of Harold Lovell, to the next level. In its original setup it could not work. Investors will always want to talk to the boss and make deals. They do not want to go to those that cannot close the deal. The Authority in my opinion needs to be merged with the Company Registrar. And be the liaison with the Chambers of Commerce and the Employers’ Federation. Before you can register a company, you need to have an interview with the Investment Authority. They can then guide you as to what is needed and how to assist you as well. In my line of work, I have to mentor many young potential entrepreneurs. Some of them I had to talk out of their ideas, because when you put figures on paper, their ideas were not feasible at all. And many of them need mentorship and administration, marketing and accounting support. People think going into business is easy, but when reality kicks in they quickly go looking for a job in order to have a secure income stream. You do have people that are what I would call “self employed”. Those are not entrepreneurs. They provide the services they have acquired at school or university. Could be a plumber, electrician, lawyer, doctor, dentist. You name it. They have a profession and wish not to be employed, so they are self-employed. You can be a good cook, but that doesn’t mean you can run a restaurant. You can be a good doctor, but it doesn’t mean you can run a medical clinic. In that interview the Authority would be able to ascertain who is who and advise them accordingly. A self-employed person should not be incorporated. They should be a sole-trader. And if they join together with other professionals, they should be a firm or partnership. You see that with many lawyers and doctors when they come together. Anyway, I will stop here, but I can hope Mr. Joseph will see the need in doing what I suggest.

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