Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith believes the key to the BVI's survival in the long term lies in its ability to embrace ingenuity and innovation.
Speaking at the opening of the 2013 BVI Business Outlook at Scrub Island this morning, January 16, the Premier urged leaders and guests from various sectors to think outside the box.
The Premier stated that the BVI must have no illusions about the realities it faces in the world order. He said the Territory should not seek to find solutions by emulating the examples of jurisdictions that "dwarf us in these respects".
According to the Premier, the BVI requires a solution that utilizes its own unique circumstances to give it a competitive advantage.
"We are small; we do not have economies of scale that come from having large populations, or large tracts of real estate. Our small physical size then, should not preclude big ideas or big ambitions and indeed we should use this attribute of small physical size to our advantage. The BVI has been punching above its weight for many years and must continue to do so," Premier Smith stated.
"A changing business environment is a good opportunity to find new avenues to explore, to find more efficient and effective ways of doing things. We should be asking ourselves, what are the things that can be done to improve on our successes now?"
"We should be asking ourselves, is there something we should be doing and are not. In short we must think outside the box and I believe that, just as it has been in the past, if we put our collective thoughts together the answers will be there. And that is why we have engaged with the community in groups and as individuals, and from all sectors of the economy," the Premier stated.
The Premier assured attendees that his Government has, ever since its coming into office, been resolved to confront head on the problems facing the Territory that could be impediments to future success.
At the same time, he said Government must launch "the platform to spur us on to higher heights" in improving the quality of life for the people of the Virgin Islands and the service delivered to it's customers.
"The launch pad is based on the creation of a vibrant private sector and the development of key infrastructural and civil protection programmes to allow for aggressive and sustainable economic development across the entire spectrum of society," Premier Smith stated.
He indicated that key components are the improvement of airlift capacity to allow easier access to our shores, a modern road network, proper water and sewerage facilities, improved facilities for cruise ship passengers, a five star hotel and the critical civil protection programme, the National Health Insurance system.