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Premier calls for togetherness to achieve BVI’s 2022 goals

Premier calls for togetherness to achieve BVI’s 2022 goals

While delivering his New Year’s Day address, Premier Andrew Fahie called for residents of the Virgin Islands to band together to achieve transformation and development in key sectors in the territory.
“As a people with immense potential and blessed with amazing natural resources, let us resolve to work together for the development of our beloved Virgin Islands. Let us strive to inspire, encourage and support each other. Let us harness our strengths and opportunities to neutralize our threats and weaknesses. Let us be solution-oriented as we work, respectfully and constructively, through different points of view,” Fahie said.

“As Premier, my commitment for 2022, and that of your government, is to continue working hard to promote good governance and to transform the Virgin Islands into a leading regional economy through entrepreneurship, innovation, and local and foreign investment, so that we can create more opportunities for you and your children and improve your social and economic security and overall quality of life,” he added.

The Premier noted 2021 was a challenging year for the territory as the nation continues to battle through a global pandemic; all while still recovering from the devastating effects of the two September 2017 hurricanes.

“It has been a year of highs and lows for the Virgin Islands as we continue to battle unprecedented challenges. That is not of our making and for the most part beyond our control, originating far beyond our shores. But, our indomitable spirit and sense of community, which are among our greatest strengths as Virgin Islanders, have supported us through these tough times,” the Premier said.

Fahie noted the past several months have seen consistent progress in the recovery of the territory’s economy through the policies and management strategies from the government and cooperation from both public and private sectors stakeholders.

“Our tourism industry, which remains in high demand, has been seeing increasing numbers of visitor arrivals. Cruise arrivals, day-trippers, overnight visitors, yachts, and charter visitors, are all on the rise, notwithstanding the pandemic. Air travel to Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada is now more convenient and accessible. All of this spells good news for our accommodation properties, taxi and tour operators, restaurants and bars, and vendors, Government revenues – and for the wider economy,” the Premier said.

Fahie, who is also the Finance Minister, said 2022 meets the territory with a new budget in place to support the continued economic recovery and growth.

He mentioned there are many more projects and programmes lined up for implementation with others in advanced stages of preparation.

“Opportunities from new industries such as the gaming and betting industry are around the corner. Your government intends to work even more closely with the private sector to discover and launch further opportunities. The digital economy and green energy sectors are two of the top priority areas, as we continue working to further strengthen our resilience through diversification,” the Premier explained.

“The positive trends in tourism are expected to continue, once we remain vigilant and continue to maintain the Virgin Islands’ profile as a safe destination. In short, 2022 is poised to be a year of hope, opportunity, and resurgence for the Virgin Islands,” he added.
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