TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Feb. 19, CMC – Premier Dr. Orlando Smith says the British Overseas territory needs to deepen its worldwide connections in order to boost national development
Smith, who was giving his final address to the territory late Monday said everything must be done to ensure that the territory moves in the right direction.
“We must deepen our connection to the world through improved technology and communication services. We must diversify our economy so that we don’t stand and fall on the twin pillars of tourism and financial services alone.”
The Premier said as he demits office, he takes satisfaction in how much he has helped in the growth of local financial services and tourism industries.
He said he is particularly pleased that ‘after many years of little or no new developments’, the BVI is witnessing what he described as “a wave of investment from Oil Nut Bay, to Scrub Island, to the recently signed deals to develop Norman Island and Prospect Reef”.
“Above all, I take satisfaction in the services that are being provided to our people … Even as I wish we could have accomplished even more, I have no regrets – for I know in my heart that I gave all that I had to offer to this territory I love. And for that opportunity, I am eternally grateful.”
The outgoing Premier said one thing that he would have wanted to accomplish include having the territory’s main airport ‘service more flights’ and having the BVI’s main hospital provide ‘an even broader array of advanced services’.
He said he also wished the BVI’s recovery from the 2017 hurricanes were further along and that “no business or family in the territory was still struggling to get back to where they were before the storms arrived”.
While further stating that he wished for a “more unified” community, the premier implored the soon-to-be members of the next government to make their party secondary to the needs of the territory.
Smith also encouraged cooperation among the territory’s leaders and residents, regardless of political affiliation or beliefs.