Monday, September 08, 2008

Hon. Ralph O'Neal Speaking on BVI Government's 1st Year Achievements

BVI Premier Hon. Ralph O’Neal delivered a speech on Monday, September 1, reporting on his work in the first year in this post, and the achievements of his administration. He highlighted last year's “stumbling blocks” and accomplishments, and pledged that BVI's economy will remain strong and adapted to the increasing globalization process.

Mr. O'Neal stated that, despite a global economic decline and other related processes, the BVI government has maintained the territory's economic growth, kept low level of unemployment and accomplished several important projects. He also said that the government start was not so effective because of poor financial accounting.

As the Minister of Finance, Mr. O'Neal noted that the economic expansion in the BVI over the last months has provided a strong economic foundation for the long-term growth and sustainability of the Social Security Board Fund, which grew from US$275 million at the end of 2006 to US$322 million by the end of July 2008. This increase allowed BVI government to raise some categories of social payments.

Mr. O'Neal also said some words to BVI residents on how to ensure their own financial security in terms of global downturn. The Minister urged to reduce consumption, source imports from cheaper markets, and undertake some other measures to support the efforts of the government.

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