Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has determined that the territory’s two main financial pillars of tourism and financial services were affected by the arrest of former Premier, Andrew Fahie.
Dr Wheatley was at the time speaking at a joint press briefing with Governor John Rankin
where he was asked to respond to concerns about how the arrest and the threat of UK direct rule affected those sectors.
He said: “Well, certainly, the uncertainty which has happened, especially since the events in the United States (Fahie
’s arrest), I think would have had some impact.”
He did not specify how the sectors were impacted but noted that, with the finalised proposal on the way forward between the United Kingdom and the BVI now in place, industry partners can be able to see a greater sense of certainty.
Dr Wheatley said he was grateful to the UK for allowing the BVI to implement the Commission of Inquiry
) recommended reforms on its own instead of imposing direct rule.
“Reform is good for everybody involved, including the business community. They want to know that you have a government that has integrity, a government where we root out any corrupt practices, just like the people of the Virgin Islands
want to see that,“ Premier Wheatley stated.
In the meantime, Governor Rankin said stability and certainty were conditions that any business sector would want to have around.
He further stated that it was important to recognise that the COI
was an inquiry into government and governance in the territory and wasn’t an inquiry into the financial services sector.
“The important thing is, the financial services sector continues to comply with the best international standards. As long as they do so then they will, I hope, be a successful financial services sector helping to serve prosperity within the territory,“ Governor Rankin added.