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Industrial trade growth between VI & China 'increasing year on year'– Hon Smith

- highlighted $60.3M increase in industrial trade between VI registered companies & China between 2020 & 2023
Deputy Premier & Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade in the Virgin Islands, Hon Lorna G. Smith (Al) says coming out of the Asia Pacific Trade Mission is that trade between the VI and China continues to grow yearly. Photo: GIS/Facebook
The Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE, left, was at the time speaking alongside BVI Finance CEO Elise Donovan at a Press Briefing on June, 12, 2024 on the recent trade mission which featured persons in Government along with the Private sector. Photo: GIS
The Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE, left, was at the time speaking alongside BVI Finance CEO Elise Donovan at a Press Briefing on June, 12, 2024 on the recent trade mission which featured persons in Government along with the Private sector. Photo: GIS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI– Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE (AL) has disclosed that trade between the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) and China continues to grow yearly.

The Deputy Premier was speaking at a Press Briefing on June 12, 2024, on the recent Asia-Pacific Trade Mission attended by government officials and private sector members.

She also said the VI delegation was well received in Asia.

“I just wanted to say how proud I was of the depth of talent that was on display in Asia from the British Virgin Islands as well as the persons from Asia themselves,” Hon Smith told the press.

“I was very pleased, it was a very exciting… it was a time when we made significant process and the reception that we received, as I said before, was exceptional,” Hon Smith said.  

$60.3M trade increase from 2020-2023

Revealing basic statistics, Hon Smith said Beijing officials highlighted the increase in industrial trade between VI registered companies and China from 9.17 million dollars in 2020 to 70 million dollars in 2023.

“In fact, we were already at almost 31 million dollars within the first 4 months of 2024. So, as you can see, the growth is significant and increasing year on year.”

Hon Smith added that the visit was also used to gauge the strength of the relationship and how it can be utilised to bring benefits to the VI that can be more apparent, “and I am happy to report that the authorities in all the cities we visited were keen to help make a difference.”

Strong relationship with Shenzhen

The Deputy Premier said Shenzhen is the city where perhaps the relationship is strongest. She said Shenzhen is the technological and industrial beating heart of China. This year, the two countries are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Shenzhen in 2014.

“Indeed, that agreement was signed following a visit by a Shenzhen delegation to the BVI, emphasising once again the importance that the region places on face-to-face contact. Our relationship with Shenzhen has been a tremendous success.”

$3B investment

The Minister said there are 77 trading "BVI companies" based in Shenzhen, representing a combined value of 3 billion dollars in investments. She said during discussions with the city’s officials; however, it was clear more can come out of the agreement between the two countries.

Hon Smith said that moving forward, there will be a focus on taking advantage of the relationship as the MoU outlines a range of technical assistance that the City of Shenzhen is willing to provide the VI with.

“It is our intention to broaden the scope of the cooperation under the MoU to include university scholarships and student exchange provisions for BVI students to study in Shenzhen, technical assistance to the BVI in the areas of waste disposal management and technology and technical assistance to the BVI around climate resilience and adaptation,” she said.

The Deputy Premier and Trade Minister said authorities in Shenzhen have already agreed to fund a scholarship for an individual from the VI to study in Shenzhen, with applications already being sought through the BVI Hong Kong office for the 2024/2025 academic year.

She said Shenzhen is also keen to support the local FinTech offering, along with more commitments from Hong Kong in similar areas, including technical support for enterprises.

12 Responses to “Industrial trade growth between VI & China 'increasing year on year'– Hon Smith”

  • Outsider (13/06/2024, 10:24) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    Have this government sold their soul to China like other Caribbean countries? God help us!
  • Big Richard (13/06/2024, 11:11) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    We all know that the Chinese way of doing business includes payoffs and kickbacks. The BVI just can't resist
  • jack (13/06/2024, 11:39) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
    Lorna you are doing well for the bvi
  • brian hodge (13/06/2024, 13:30) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    investment by BVI registered companies doesn't equate to a benefit to the Territory. What about some factual benefits to the Territory ? I still remember the asphalting machines that came from China- what happened to them ? how many BVI students are currently studying in China? How many of our local artists, or clothing manufacturers have items on sale in China? What has China bought from us? smoke and mirrors and the Lady knows it
  • China Lorna (13/06/2024, 14:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did you sell our fishing rights yet? Sea bed mining?
    How about our soul?
    Waiting for some transparency on what exactly you are offering these 21st century colonialists on our behalf?
    Thanks in advance.
  • watching (13/06/2024, 14:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Watch out people they will have the rights to fish in our waters and then we buy the fish caught in our waters from them. Pray to God that our fishermen will get to fiah in our own waters.
  • Hon Failure.. (13/06/2024, 15:30) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    Give your #1 defender Cindy the Job to be the China Czar, she is qualified..She will do a good Job...Cindy has suffered too much..
  • Leave them alone (13/06/2024, 16:49) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Leave them people alone. They are parasites and have a symbiotic relationship with their hosts, ask Jamaica and the Bahamas
  • Common Sense (13/06/2024, 16:50) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Make friends with them people say they sell out. Shun them people say they sold out to the UK.

    Its bigger than that they recognize there is no animosity & reason for racism between us. After all they were colonized as-well which is how Hong Kong came about under British control.

    There is so much people there to be able to sell to them is like opening a never ending pot of gold no selling out necessary simple hard work & good products will do.
  • See (13/06/2024, 18:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sell your soul to the murdering communist butchers and hand over your country in exchange for the cheap junk produced by people making pennies a day . So how much is Lorna pocketing ?
  • Daisy Duke (13/06/2024, 22:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lorna is in a path to sell her sole to the Chinese investors, it wasn’t that long ago she said all the kids in bvi schools should be learning mandarin.
    The woman getting sucked up like many other Caribbean Islands and surprised then it comes back to bankrupt the local man and leave them in the side of the road.
    They trying to take over and we really should not be so gullible and do some research.
  • disappointed (14/06/2024, 00:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sell out! China comes bearing gifts and the leaves owning your ports and resources. I really don’t like politicians.

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