Friday, June 15, 2007

BVI Chief Minister Informs about BVI Economic Growth and Government Accomplishments in 2007

British Virgin Islands Chief Minister Orlando Smith has presented his annual State of the Territory Address for the year 2007 before more than 500 people. In his 15-page and 53-minute speech he informed about the accomplishments of his government and said that the gross domestic product of the British Virgin Islands by the end of the year will top the US$1 billion mark. He noted that last year growth rate was 11% and made the level of GDP at US$992 million.

By words of BVI Chief Minister, this year growth is first of all due to financial services and tourism. "Today, our financial services sector is a world leader, and our regulatory system has earned a reputation that is second to none for ethics, transparency and good judgment," he said. As regards tourism, Orlando Smith mentioned the increased number of cruise visitors in the British Virgin Islands.

Among other initiatives that helped create a foundation for growth, Smith named restoring fiscal discipline in government and overhauling the tax system. In his speech he said, "The economic growth we are enjoying is no accident...It is the result of the hard work, creativity and drive of the people of the BVI, and it was made possible by your government's commitment to changing the policies of the past by making economic growth a top priority."

Orlando Smith affirmed that the government is committed to carrying on the telecommunications liberalization process, as well as controversial five-star resort hotel developments on Beef Islands, Scrub Island and Smuggler's Cove.

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