A group with the sole objective of providing local government with ‘viable global investment opportunities’ is being established in the territory.
The group is to be called the Economic Advisory Group (EAG) and will consist of both locals and expatriate residents.
The EAG is reportedly being developed through organisers of the Decision March Committee, which comprises members such as Bishop John Cline, Ayana Hull, and Zoe Walcott-McMillan.
During a meeting with members of the Decision March Committee on Friday, Queen’s Counsel and former Acting High Court Judge Gerard Farara was named as a member of the EAG.
Other named persons to sit on the EAG include Tourism Director Sharon Flax-Brutus, local photographer John Black, and Dr Micheal Turnbull, who is brother to government legislator, Mitch Turnbull.
Other persons will also be part of the EAG, the Decision March Committee said.
Bishop Cline said the group will focus on areas such as education, tourism, social infrastructure, investment banking, youth athletics, shipping, ports, agriculture and fisheries, construction, and avenues for entrepreneurship.
“We also have some subcommittees that will support the EAG who will be advising and coming up with all of the ideas that we will pull together and make representation and a presentation to the government in terms of what we should be doing,” he said.
Notably, each sister island will have representatives in the group.
Importance of diversifying
Bishop Cline said, at this juncture, when the territory’s main economic pillar – the financial services – is under threat, economic diversification is important.
“One of the things that we have recognized while planning this [Decision March] is that there is a growing need for us as a territory to diversify our economy,” he said.
The clergyman said he believes BVI citizens “have a responsibility in helping to move this forward in identifying economic pillars that are more sustainable for the next twenty, thirty years just like financial services has been.”
Town Hall Meetings
A series of town hall meetings are being planned so residents can weigh in on ‘areas of priority’.
The first meeting will take place on Monday, June 4 at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola. That meeting will begin at 7 pm.
The second will move to Virgin Gorda on Thursday, June 7 at 6:30pm at the Sanctuary of Hope church.
Similar meetings will also take place on Jost Van Dyke and Anegada. However, those meetings are still in the planning phase.
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