REMARKS BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE DR. ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
ON THE OCCASION OF THE CONGRATULATORY AND HANDINOUTCERTIFICATE
CEREMONY FOR PARTICIPANTS OF THE SVITZER LOCAL RECRUITING PROGRAMME
PREMIER’S OFFICE CONFERENCE ROOM, ADMINISTRATION COMPLEX
APRIL 7, 2016
Mr. Albert Snoei, Managing Director of Switzer Americas, Ag. Director of the Shipping Registry, Captain Bala, Dean Lewy, Captain Cherry , Head of the Marine Studies Programme at HLSCC, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, Good Afternoon.
Let me first express my thank you to all of you for being here this morning and further to the Ag. Director and the Staff of the Shipping Registry along with the Ministry, for the work they continue to do on behalf of my Government and the people of the Territory.
This afternoon we are here to follow up on what is evidence of the continuous progress that the Shipping Registry and the wider Maritime Administration regime has steadfastly continue to make so that one of our primary natural resource the Sea could realise its abundant potential for the people of this Territory.
It was sometime in August last year that I first welcomed Svitzer America as a new corporate citizen in the BVI.
At that time I was pleased to see that coming off the territory’s newly established status as a Category One shipping registry within the red ensign Group, Svitzer, a company affiliated with Maersk, one of the largest global Shipping conglomerates, had chosen the BVI as a place of Operation and as the registry of choice where many of its vessels would be registered.
I am aware and I am pleased that since that time Svitzer America has gone even further and has been working closely with institutions such as The Shipping Registry and the H Lavity Stoutt Community College to hire and train young and aspiring BVI seamen to work with the company on board their vessels.
I also understand that what makes this an even more momentous occasion is the fact that these newly minted seamen were amongst the first to be able to take advantage of the Territory’s new status as a jurisdiction that has an Approved medical Doctor (in the person of Doctor Trotman Hastings at our Peebles Hospital) who can now issue Medical Certificates for Seafarers.
This is indeed good news and progress befitting of our Territory which has a maritime history of inherent dept. It means that all seamen can go get their Medical Certificate from here in the BVI and be cleared to take up their post immediately, particularly in this case with Svitzer America.
I look forward to continued progress in the Marine Sector as we go forward. It is an area of great potential for our economy. Vigilance is our motto and our marine reserves should continue to produce limitless opportunities in the foreseeable future.