There was even a call for ‘amen’ during a news conference earlier this week where it was announced that U.S.-based credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has tagged the Turks and Caicos Islands with a BBB+ credit rating.
The current credit rating holds firm to that of pre-COVID rating, which was not expected by the government, based on the developments over the past year.
Premier Hon. Washington Misick, who announced the latest S&P rating, remarked that the positive economic outlook for the Turks and Caicos Islands reflects the confidence that the international community has in this chain of islands.
“We have retained our BBB+ credit rating with a positive outlook. And if you are in this room, that is the time you have to say amen,” Premier Hon. Washington Misick said.
The premier also pointed out that the credit rating agency indicated that based on the TCI’s robust economic performance, it is likely that its credit rating could spike.
“Standard &Poor’s said that it is likely that the credit rating of the Turks and Caicos Islands could be increased over the next two years subject to the external factors and the quality of our data. And we are working on the quality of our data to make sure that that is done,” he pointed out.
Premier Misick pointed out that the local economy is bullish, with some resorts announcing that their revenue levels for the last month or two have surpassed that of pre-COVID times.
“And that is a good thing,” the premier stated. “The Turks and Caicos is unique in the fact that it is a small country, and as a small country it is alleged that we have perhaps the second most tourism-dependent nation in the world.”
Taking credit for the country’s current economic performance, Premier Misick said the level of confidence by investors – foreign and local - has seen sharp rise.
“The truth of the matter is, investors, visitors, local business community have confidence in this government and in the Turks and Caicos Islands. And that is something that I am happy to take credit for…and that has a great deal to do with the S&P credit rating.
“And so, I am very pleased, as your premier, to say to you that the Turks and Caicos Islands’ economy is in the process of a V-shape recovery. Everyone knows what a V looks like…we hit rock bottom and then we come up as rapidly as we declined. Some 26 percent of the GDP was lost over the COVID-19 period and we are rapidly increasing that,” Misick continued.
Misick boasted that the country’s deficit has dwindled to a paltry $3million, which he implied has created a trampoline for further economic growth.
“We are in $3-million in in terms of direct debt, including its content liability. So we are in a good place to turbo charge this economy as we promised, and that is going to be the aim and the focus of this government over the coming period,” the premier promised.
In the meantime, Misick’s second in command, Deputy Premier Hon. E. Jay Saunders, did not mince words when he pointed out that the solid credit rating and the burgeoning economic growth currently being experienced in the Turks and Caicos Islands was contingent upon Premier Misick’s navigation of the country’s reins.
“The Standard and Poor rating is an amazing accomplishment. It is an amazing achievement because the first two months of the calendar year, January, February, which were the first two months of the last quarter, we were looking very likely that Standard & Poor was going to downgrade our credit rating for good reason.
“And no one would have faulted a government if they gotten a downgraded rating this financial year. And the fact that they didn’t downgrade us is a testament not only to this government but to this man, our premier. It shows the confidence that Standard & Poor has in his leadership and I am happy to be part of the team,” Saunders affirmed.
Standard & Poor's (S&P) has billed itself as a company known around the world as a creator of financial market indices—widely used as investment benchmarks—a data source, and an issuer of credit ratings for companies and debt obligations.