Contributing to the debate on his government’s proposed Virgin Islands Investment Act, 2020, Smith told the House of Assembly the BVI needs to empower its people rather than misjudging them.
Smith — an established businessman — said his ambition came from watching others and trying to make something of himself.
“When some of our young people try to do that, the first thing they want to say [involves] label[ling] all our young people here [as] drug dealers,” Smith said.
“That’s what they’re trying to do. Every young person that tries to make it here in the BVI — every one — if they have a house, if they have a car, [they’re] a drug dealer. We have to stop,” he added.
Smith continued: “We have some very intelligent, ambitious people here in the Virgin Islands that we need to support, and we need to stop labelling people.”
“I want to keep it real, a lot of times what happens here in the BVI is that some people don’t want to see some people make it because they believe that all the wealth only belongs to them,” Smith shared.
The first-term legislator said he was making the statement in the context of being someone who came from nothing to something.
Smith said he worked hard to get to the level he is at today, and expressed that the BVI’s downfall was having persons try to bring down their own people.
He said this, mentality, was unhelpful in creating a good investment climate. According to Smith, the BVI needed investments in all forms and he suggested that its people need to work together to achieve that.
“We can’t choose who we want to be millionaires,” Smith expressed.