One of the 14 British Overseas Territories, the country of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) works both independently and alongside the UK to remain one of the Caribbean’s most dynamic and secure nations
As a British Overseas Territory, TCI is a largely self-governing nation with its own constitution, and the UK is responsible for its external affairs. Beyond politics, the nation holds deep cultural and historical bonds with the UK. From English being the country’s official language to the fact that Turks and Caicos Islanders drive on the left-hand side of the road, the British connection permeates life on the islands
Direct flights between London and Turks and Caicos, which make a brief stoppover in Antigua, take around 11.5 hours.
TCI offers direct flight connections between Providenciales International Airport and the UK, the US, Canada, Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Antigua, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands.
According to Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, TCI is looking at Brexit as an opportunity. The UK’s possible departure from the EU would affect TCI’s EU funding, which supports areas like education, biodiversity and business transformation. However, under its UN obligations, the UK has certain requirements to continue supporting TCI. As Cartwright-Robinson says, Brexit is “pretty much like removing the middleman.” The premier also noted that TCI is standing ready to receive any capital flight that could result from Brexit.
TCI’s close ties with the UK differentiate it as a prime investment destination in Central America and the Caribbean. Its judicial system based on English common law, financial compliance to international and UK standards, and education system derived from the UK help investors feel at home and secure doing business in the Caribbean nation. With shovel-ready investment projects, PPP proposals, underdeveloped sectors like tourism, and a booming real estate situation combined with a permanent residence scheme, both TCI and UK investors stand to benefit from FDI.
The UK has long been TCI’s top European source market for travellers. The appeal of TCI’s year-round good weather, striking natural attractions and cultural bonds with the UK prompted British Airways to add a second weekly flight from London in 2015, which it continues to operate today. Despite its charm and accessibility, TCI remains an oasis of tranquillity and untouched nature compared to other popular beach destinations worldwide, attracting 1.2 million visitors in 2017.