REMARKS BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
DR. THE HONOURABLE ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
2017 BUY BVI TRADE EXPO
AT THE MULTI-PURPOSE COMPLEX
ON SATURDAY, 29THAPRIL, 2017
AT 10:00 A.M.
Good morning to everyone.
We are here for yet another Buy BVI Trade Expo, and yet I feel that every year the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association has managed to put together an amazing programme.
I am pleased that you have continued the ‘business talks’ portion of the expo that was introduced last year. I am certain that many of the existing and aspiring entrepreneurs will glean from the presentations and apply much of what is shared to their own businesses.
My Government has a renewed focus on entrepreneurship and of course developing BVI entrepreneurs to be able to ‘up their game’ locally and also compete on a global scale. Therefore, the addition of the ‘business talks’ are only in line with that focus.
The Buy BVI Trade Expo was set up to not only highlight and promote innovative business ideas, but also to develop and strengthen the local economy through increased local spending.
I think we can all agree that the expo is essentially BVI’s entrepreneurial spirit on display. The history of the Virgin Islands is grounded with individual men and women who saw the opportunities in their situations and environments. That same spirit is evidenced today, as BVI’s business climate continues to expand, and we continue to see more and more unique business ideas arise.
Entrepreneurship is integral to a healthy economy. My Government wants more and more persons to establish businesses and cottage industries that will help shape the BVI’s social and economic landscape.
I’d like to take this time to acknowledge my Government’s relationship with the Caribbean Overseas Small and Medium Enterprises or COSME programme, which seeks to support the development of small businesses through training and other forms of capacity building.
With the support from COSME, my Government wants all entrepreneurs, to think OUTSIDE the box. The BVI’s business landscape can benefit from the focused minds in this room to add value to existing business, and to fill the gaps of BVI’s business needs.
Our tourism and financial services sectors, as you know, are our bread and butter industries. Let us put our heads together to find out how we can bolster these industries. While Government focuses on policy development and infrastructural needs, we want you to come up with ways to add to our client experiences.
The Premier’s Office, Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, and COSME are agencies with a remit to assist you in your endeavours. Continue to reach out when the need arises.
And yet, aside from the available assistance, you are here because of your own tenacity and commitment to your businesses.
Confucius wrote: "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."
I implore you to never stop, pursue your passion, and continue to do your part in ‘Building a Better Virgin Islands’.
Let me take this time to acknowledge BVICCHA President of Business and Buy BVI Trade Expo Chairman,Mr. Troy Christopher, team member Avril Alexander, and other event organisers, who have put forward your best efforts to make the Expo happen. Congratulations on yet another successful event.
Before declaring the Trade Expo open, I will say good luck to all the exhibitors, who will be competing for awards, based on your performance over the next two days. Prizes will be awarded for Most Creative Booth, Most Innovative Booth, Best Salesperson, andSmall Business Booth of the Year, to name a few.
And to both the participants and attendees, do enjoy the expo. Always remember to ‘Buy BVI’.
I now declare the 2017 Buy BVI Trade Expo open.