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Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Premier says miscommunication at play in EAC rift with gov’t

Premier says miscommunication at play in EAC rift with gov’t

Premier Andrew Fahie has suggested that a miscommunication between himself and members of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) may have led to stagnation in their work.
Premier Fahie established that ad hoc committee in 2020 to advise the government on ways of moving the economy forward.

Chairman of the EAC, Bishop John Cline, reportedly said that the Premier’s Office was presented with a report by the committee in May 2021 but the committee has not heard any response since then.

As a result of this, he reportedly said they decided not to meet again as a body.

While speaking at a press conference recently, Premier Fahie said: “This is the time when we definitely have to unite so if this is an area of misunderstanding, I will be looking for the Bishop to see what they are because life is too short so I am not going to get into public debacles (sic).”

He thanked the committee for their work and referenced a section of a speech he made last year after receiving that report.

“The Economic Advisory Council has recently presented their interim report with recommendations that are very much in sync with our overall vision – particularly for Tourism and Financial Services, as well as the blue economy and fledgling industries,” the Premier said.

He added: “These initial recommendations tie in with existing plans and help us to refine our strategies for achieving the rest of our goals in partnership with the business community.”

According to Premier Fahie, some of the goals put forward by the group have been implemented by the government, including tax breaks in certain areas.

He said the group also explored issues such as the implementation of a two-tiered tariff system for the BVI in order for businesses to be given certain advantages while simultaneously holding them accountable.

“There seems to be a breakdown somewhere in terms of communication with it so I’m going to do my best to re-engage to see what the issues were because I didn’t realize there was a full disconnect,” Premier Fahie added.

He said if there were areas the government fell down, he will apologise and fix them and likewise, if the EAC fell down in any areas, he will overlook those areas and keep going.
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