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Local businesses must be main drivers of BVI’s economic progress

Local businesses must be main drivers of BVI’s economic progress

Premier and Minister for Finance Dr Natalio Wheatley has expressed that businesses and entrepreneurs within the territory must be the main drivers behind economic progress in the Virgin Islands as they have the wherewithal to sustain the economy.
Speaking at the Forge Builders Expo over the weekend, Dr Wheatley noted that business owners tend to have the ingenuity to execute tasks which can keep the territory’s economy afloat.

“We must depend on ourselves to create the business necessary to sustain our economy. It is not necessary for government officials to be able to come up with the ideas necessary to be able to drive the economy. What are you really going to do? That is really the responsibility of the people who have the ingenuity, the industriousness, the innovativeness to enable to manifest the ideas that have dwelled within your mind, and you are putting into practice,” the Finance Minister said.

Meanwhile, speaking on the turnout of the event, the Premier said he was impressed with the quality of business presentations and the portfolio they possess. He noted that the businesses in the territory have been doing a good job and he appreciated that they can let people know about the work they have done.

“Of course, I am familiar with a lot of these businesses, but I was not familiar with their full portfolio, and it is certainly impressive, and they are getting this type of exposure because sometimes we are not quite sure of the resources we have in our society. I have seen new businesses that started out two or three months ago,” Dr Wheatley said.

“I have no idea who they were before, and I have an opportunity to see them and in fact I have some projects coming up that would benefit them. I am grateful to be invited so I could familiarise myself with these businesses. I need these businesses to be given opportunities as a result of this type of exposure,” the Premier added.

The Finance Minister noted his government wants to unlock the potential of the business community in the Virgin Islands through an increased partnership with the government.

“We are going to facilitate, streamline, we are going to accommodate and of course, we recognise that the business community are the ones that create value in our economy. They create revenue for the government that pays our salaries, and bills and develop our infrastructure et cetera and these businesses create jobs, so the government does not have to employ everybody, and they create business opportunities for other people and provide a livelihood for them and successive generation. It is very important, and this is what we need,” Dr Wheatley said.
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