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Press Release From Independent Source

Premier's office to play a key role in stimulating BVI economy

Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs. Rosalie Adams. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs. Rosalie Adams affirms that the Ministry is poised to fulfil Government’s legislative agenda, specifically as it relates to stimulating the economy.

The legislative agenda, read by His Excellency the Governor Mr. Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO at last week’s House of Assembly sitting, outlines plans for Government’s policies and programmes for implementation over the next three years. 

Speaking to the Department of Information and Public Relations, Mrs. Adams said, “Now that the legislative agenda is clear, officers within the Ministry and its departments have already been steadily working to achieve those deliverables as stated in the address.” The agenda covers seven broad areas.

Mrs. Adams said although the Premier’s Office may be indirectly linked to each of the seven areas, the Ministry is mainly focussed on the following: stimulating/fixing the economy; improving the standard of living; protecting our borders and enhancing law, order and public safety; and re-establishing/strengthening regional and international relations.

Referring to Stimulating/ Fixing the Economy, Mrs. Adams said the goal is to urgently modernise the existing Arbitration Act that can help bring new business to the Territory, adding, the BVI is well poised to become an international centre for commercial dispute settlement. The modernisation of the act, she explained, will facilitate the extension of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (also known as the "New York Arbitration Convention") to the Territory.

In explaining the specifics of the convention, Mrs. Adams said, “The Convention will allow for decisions made by foreign arbitrators to be recognised and enforced in those Nations and states that have also signed onto it. It also allows for the referral by a court to arbitration.”

Mrs. Adams said that having both the convention extended and legislation amended means international recognition for the Territory and its financial services industry; signalling the BVI’s commitment to best practices; in addition to affirming the Territory’s role as a global competitor.

Also under Stimulating/ Fixing the Economy is the review of the Hotel Aid Ordinance to allow items such as building materials and some foods supplies to be imported duty free. The permanent secretary said the present legislation does not encourage hoteliers to shop locally, adding, “Once the Ordinance is amended, hoteliers and proprietors will benefit from lowered costs which should result from the change in the legislation.”

Mrs. Adams also said there will be a review of both the Pioneer Services Act and Encouragement of Industries Act with a view to enhancing the economy.

For the Pioneer Services Act, which outlines tax exemptions and lower duties for new businesses, Mrs. Adams said there will be improvements in the process for granting pioneer status.

“We are planning to establish a new set of industry categories on which the granting of status should be based. It will not only be granted based on the establishment’s start date, but also the type of business operations. We expect that this move will encourage the future development of more industries,” the permanent secretary said.

The Premier’s Office serves as the focal point for coordinating cross sectoral policies and programmes and promoting the sustainable development of the Virgin Islands.

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