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‘Establishing additional economic pillars now critical’- Hon Fahie

Leader of the Opposition Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has listed the sectors of Performing Arts, Sports Tourism, and Deep-Sea Fishing as areas that can be maximised to support the Virgin Islands economy. Photo: VINO/File
The United Kingdom (UK) Government on Tuesday May 1, 2018 agreed in the House of Commons to support a bill to make public the beneficial owners of companies in their Overseas Territories (OTs). Photo: Internet Source/File
The United Kingdom (UK) Government on Tuesday May 1, 2018 agreed in the House of Commons to support a bill to make public the beneficial owners of companies in their Overseas Territories (OTs). Photo: Internet Source/File
Leader of the Opposition Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, was a guest of the popular radio show, Honestly Speaking, with Claude O Skelton-Cline on ZBVI 780 AM on Tuesday May 1, 2018. Photo: Facebook
Leader of the Opposition Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, was a guest of the popular radio show, Honestly Speaking, with Claude O Skelton-Cline on ZBVI 780 AM on Tuesday May 1, 2018. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- There is no surprise that the Territory is on high alert after the United Kingdom (UK) Government on Tuesday May 1, 2018 agreed in the House of Commons to support a bill to make public the beneficial owners of companies in their Overseas Territories (OTs).

Through the amendment of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, the UK government would in effect be ordering the Overseas Territories to change how they run part of their financial services sector, even though this has been formally entrusted to the governments of the territories in their constitutions.

Further, the House of Commons decision is seen as a potentially lethal blow to the Financial Services Industry of the Overseas Territories (OTs), including the Virgin Islands, which is still reeling from two Category 5 hurricanes in September 2017.

Additional pillars critical

Leader of the Opposition Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1); however, had a calming reassuring voice to the people of the Territory when he presented some of his suggestions on how to respond to the controversial decision by the House of Commons.

Hon Fahie was at the time a guest one the popular radio show, Honestly Speaking, with Claude O Skelton-Cline, aired Tuesday May 1, 2018 on ZBVI 780 AM. On the show, Hon Fahie stated, “the establishment of additional economic pillars is now critical.”

This was said in light of the fact that the Financial Sector, which will be greatly affected by making public the register of beneficial owners, contributes 60% of the annual income for the territory. With this pillar under attack, it is crucial that diversification occurs.

Hon Fahie listed the sectors of Performing Arts, Sports Tourism, and Deep-Sea Fishing as areas that can be maximised to support the VI economy.

Advice to Government

Hon Fahie believes now more than ever the people of the Territory must knock heads and come up with ideas on how to still make financial services a viable economic vehicle.

“We must gather all participants in the Financial Services Industry so that we can gain a full appreciation for the concerns voiced by their customers. If commitments are made by our leaders to the British Government then we the people must be made aware of these commitments so that suggestions or decisions are not made in a vacuum,” explained the Opposition Leader, who is always calling on the Government to be honest and open with the people.

He further emphasised that, “Financial Services is the really the hub of our economy… this, if not managed properly could result in the collapse of the economy.”

16 Responses to “‘Establishing additional economic pillars now critical’- Hon Fahie”

  • west (02/05/2018, 10:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where do we go from here?
  • Moving forward (02/05/2018, 11:11) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    1. Start by introducing agricultural science in the schools as. Send willing persons to study agricultural science and the like overseas.

    2. Consider Decriminalizing Marijuana and farming for medical use and export.

    3. Invest in and try to develop the local fishing industry

    That's a start
    • Many Rivers (05/05/2018, 05:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Good look. But that should have started 30 years ago. There were persono sent awayou of stidy agriculture but like usuall the got railroaded when they return home. A MEDICAL doctor overseeing Agriculture is not a good mix.
  • It's Showing (02/05/2018, 11:33) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    It's becoming clear that the devastation of these islands was planned and executed by these DEMONS.\
    Be careful of Wolves in Sheep Clothing.
  • Hmmm (02/05/2018, 12:11) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Keep working for the people Fahie. We appreciate your efforts.
  • good (02/05/2018, 12:14) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Good discussions Hon. Fahie.
  • NezRez (02/05/2018, 12:17) Like (7) Dislike (9) Reply
    This is such crap. We are not stupid people you must speak calmly to. A group of us have been saying for years that if the financial sector pulled out, we should have other things in place to support us, but it fell on deaf ears. We were shut up right from the start of the conversation Now I see some of the same things we suggested are being considered. This is a perfect example of the ostrich who sticks his head in the ground, thinking the enemy doesn’t see his big behind. It still isn’t too late to act fast, but if they drag their feet, all will suffer tremendously. The cost UK give us a loan and then take away half of our income to make it almost impossible to pay back, then they’ll say we couldn’t handle our own finances. They want any excuse the come run everything. This is just pure RACISM! CAPITALISM and tryin to bring back SLAVERY!
  • pat (02/05/2018, 12:35) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    I like some of the revenue things proposed by the esteemed. But the citizen by investment one, I am not sold on that
    • Rubber Duck (03/05/2018, 21:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Last figures I heard mentioned were £3-5 million. There will not be a big queue.
  • Law Abiding citizen (02/05/2018, 13:18) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    I believe it’s a wee bit late for that now.
  • E. Leonard (02/05/2018, 15:47) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    Regardless of what government was in power, pursuing economic diversification should have always been vital and critical. Financial services and tourism are the twin pillars of the economy. Nonetheless, if either of these stumbles, the economy tumbles. Well, financial services, a major source of government revenue and a large contributor to GDP, is under stress and duress. A rollback in financial services contribution to the economy will adversely impact the standard of living and quality of life. Tourism, though providing less national income but providing more direct, indirect and induced employment, alone cannot carry the day. It needs help; it needs lots of help. What choices do the VI have?

    As a small, resource-poor island chain (36 islands, 59 square miles), the VI has limited options to diversify its economy. However, whether financial services thrives or stumbles, aggressive effort must be pursued to diversify the economy. This effort is long overdue. So what can the VI do?

    1. Due to lack of arable land, along with other factors, agriculture may not become a major economic pillar. Nonetheless, to the maximum extent practical, agricultural output should be optimized, reducing the food import bill and enhancing food security;

    2. Pursue light manufacturing, though cheap energy sources and transportation will be challenges;

    3. Pursue attracting some call centers;

    4. Pursue back office operations, ie, accounting........etc;

    5. Establish a strong education base to becoming to a knowledge-base economy;


    Moreover, work closely with and dispatch a team to Singapore, a small island in the China Sea (~270 square miles), to under study it. Singapore is small and resource-poor yet an economic power house. The territory is in crisis and needs all hands on deck and rowing together to get it out of crisis and on new and steady course. It is not about NDP, VIP, PEP, PoP, UP, CCM.........etc but about BVI.
    • Rubber Duck (03/05/2018, 10:28) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
      Utter non sense. Singapore has a highly trained workforce and deep skill sets in Electronics and manufacturing. BVI would try to set up a silicon chip manufacturing plant and insist it be run by belongers only.
      • E. Leonard (03/05/2018, 23:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Rubber Duck, Singapore gained independence in August 1965. At independence, Singapore did not have a highly trained workforce with deep skill sets; they invested heavily in education and training, becoming a learning nation. They used education to become an economic power house, despite its small size; further, at independence, its per capita income was low (~$500); now it is about $60K. The VI can benchmark Singapore and others and do likewise. Lacking oil, precious metals, minerals........etc, the VI must invest on/in its human capital (its primary resource), training and qualifying its people to take up any job from Premier to non skill. It must build a quality education platform to build a strong and viable knowledge-based economy. Singapore used foreign direct investment (FDI) to grow its economy; FDI is also vital to growing and sustaining the BVI economy.
  • Rubber Duck (02/05/2018, 21:00) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
    Retired persons settling here is the one area that could replace finance. 3000 retirees homes would increase the GDP by 50%. Building them would create a boom. But it isn’t going to happen. No one is going to buy a house to be told you can only live in it for six months a year , and btw that will be 12% tax , and btw the locals will treat you like you have leprosy. While other small nations fight for this business, while Cayman says “ rich retirees we love you , come and enjoy sunshine and tax free living and we will make you a resident “ BVI says “ get lost honkeys “ .

    This is because the place is run by deeply stupid people.
  • Quiet Storm (03/05/2018, 23:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    @Rubber Duck, if you are a non-Virgin Islander and unhappy in the VI, why not go back home. Surely home will be better than the BVI. Sure you will have a higher standard of living and quality of life. Seize the time and do not punish yourself in the VI. By mutual agreement, you and BVI can agree to go seperate ways. No hard feelings.
  • BRAD BOYNES (05/05/2018, 06:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    @Rubber D*ck. ...Oops. Duck. I meet people like you every day in the BVI. Ur ugly.....very ugly. I rest my case.



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