Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Territory has seen a return to positive economic growth with Government reserves of $44.6 million. The announcement was made by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE during his Address to the Territory on May 4.
Premier Smith said that he is pleased to report that the Government of the Virgin Islands has accomplished much of what they have set out to do during the past three and a half years in office, and that the work will continue.
The Premier said, “With respect to the economy, this was our strategy: to develop essential physical infrastructure, to promote business development – small and large, while building on the bedrock of tourism and financial services”
Premier Smith said that the Government has performed beyond expectations. “I can begin with, perhaps, the most important subject of interest to you - the state of our finances,” he said, adding, “You would have observed that we have responded to several questions in the House of Assembly, many regarding the Territory’s finances for the last three and a half years. Despite many attempts to prove to the contrary, I showed that as Minister of Finance, I had a solid grip on our finances”.
Premier Smith stated that the global economic community, which has incorporated and maintained approximately half a million active business companies in this jurisdiction, is a clear demonstration of confidence in the stability of the Territory’s economy, its steady development, competent management and regulatory regime.
He added, “I announced in my last Budget address that after three years the BVI had returned to positive growth in 2013, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - which simply means the sum total of all economic activity that takes place in the Territory - increasing from $909.4 million in the previous year to $923.2 million”.
Premier Smith reiterated that the primary objective of his Government was to grow the economy and they have delivered on that promise. “It takes a strong economy to provide us with the revenue to run the Territory. It also takes a strong economy to do the infrastructural works, pay for the social services and maintain a cadre of well-trained public officers to deliver those services,” he said.
The Address to the Territory delivered on May 4 outlined the work of the Government of the Virgin Islands and covered various sectors including healthcare, education, communications and works, as well as tourism, small business and financial services.
It will be re-broadcast on May 5, and 6 at 7:00 p.m. It will be carried on local radio stations, namely ZBVI 780 AM, ZKING 100.9 FM, ZCCR 94.1FM and ZVCR 106.9 FM. However it will be aired on ZROD 103.7 FM at 8:00 p.m.
The public can also view the re-broadcast of the address on CBN Channel 51, HLSCC Channel 52 and JTV Channel 55, at 7:30 p.m. on May 5 and 6. Alternatively, the Address to the Territory may be viewed on demand via the Government’s YouTube page @BVIGovernment