BVI poised to double its revenue, add $100M in 7 years — Premier
The BVI can possibly double its revenue in the coming years and is largely banking on its twin financial pillars of tourism and financial services to get there in record time.
Premier and Finance Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley expressed this sentiment recently; noting that the BVI is well-positioned for economic expansion given its current trajectory.
Dr Wheatley recalled that as far back as 2001, the territory had a budget of $192 million but has just about doubled it in 2023 with a budget of nearly 400 million dollars.
He suggested that the territory can double its revenues again in an even shorter timeframe than it previously did.
“We are poised for growth. We can’t imagine ourselves to stay at the revenue figures where we are now,” Premier Wheatley said. “Just like in the last 20 years, we doubled our revenues, we have to double it again — and we are poised to double it again.”
“We’re at $376 [million]. You know, we have to add another $100 million to that. By 2030 let’s add another $100 million. And we can do it,” he stated.
However, reportedly high unemployment levels for locals — a theme the Premier and other lawmakers have highlighted over the years — did not appear to be a troubling factor for this prediction for growth.
“Our economy is producing jobs, upon jobs, upon jobs, upon jobs — to the point where you have to import people to do work — and you have lots of work permits that you issue each year. So our economy is doing well,” Dr Wheatley stated.
In the meantime, the Finance Minister also looked at other factors that might spur the territory’s growth, such as the BVI’s indebtedness. He pointed out that the BVI has never defaulted on loans and has a good debt servicing ratio.
He noted, too, that the BVI needs to find ways of diversifying its economy and pointed to food production and ‘light manufacturing’ as possible avenues for getting this done.