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BVI has no choice but to become self-reliant, says Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie. (GIS Photo)

The British Virgin Islands has been told that it has no choice but to become a self-reliant territory.

Premier Andrew Fahie made that remark during this year’s Territory Day celebration which was held at the Central Administration Building in Road Town recently.

“We cannot depend on anyone to have our backs or to prioritize our needs … We have no choice but to become more self-reliant. If we do not start moving ourselves forward now, we will surely die,” Fahie said.

He further said the BVI is at the mercy of the United Kingdom which he said does not understand the cultural differences between itself and the BVI.

And while describing the UK as a cold place with “a wobbling political system”, he further said: “[They have not] shown us the basic courtesy of asking us about our aspirations. [They] wish to dictate to us how we must live.”

The Premier reasoned that the current global political and economic environment places the territory in a “serious predicament” and said residents must put things in place to stand on their own.

“We need to transform ourselves into a knowledge-based society so that we can develop new productive industries and extract greater value from our existing economic engines,” the Premier argued.

He continued: “We must become competitive in the global business world. We must dare to dream bigger. We must ignore the voices that keep telling us we must think small. We must stop majoring in the minor and step back and appreciate the broader picture and its potentials to launch us into new horizons.”

BVI must unite

He then called on the territory to unite and work towards a shared vision.

“I believe that we have a lot of untapped talent in the BVI. I believe that the day can soon come when the highest offices in the territory can be held and competently managed by our very own people, and not by persons who are unfamiliar with our history, aspirations, culture and religious belief,” he said.

As recent as last month, special envoy for the VIP government Benito Wheatley said the BVI is not pushing to gain independence. Instead, the territory is open to considering ‘alternative’ relationships with the UK such as ‘free association’.

At the time, Wheatley was addressing the United Nation’s Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) in New York.

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32 Comments

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  1. View point says:

    After four months in office I can now say that I appreciate this new government. Keep up the efforts.

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    • Self Reliant says:

      You are going to become self reliant? How? The white expats created, maintain and are the sole users of the financial sector, yachting sector, cruise ship and tourist sector. What exactly are the uneducated Belongers going to do to become self reliant? You can’t even place your garbage in the proper bins. Going to start operating sugar plantations and enslave other islanders. Before you all start sprouting self reliance and independent bulls**t let’s see something that you have done that can promote sustainability. Selling drugs, kickbacks on contracts, taking expat workers pay and having your kids in the US doesn’t count.

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      • @Self Reliant says:

        It appears as though you have a reading comprehension problem. The Premier didn’t say ‘BELONGERS’ are becoming self reliant, he said the BVI! The BVI includes all expats and residents are all races, professions etc. so what is your point? Any excuse to tell us how you really feel about the black Belongers? The beautiful thing is that people like you are the minority and everyone realizes what the only way the BVI survives the storms again is building together. Seems you have small penis syndrome and need an outlet so we will bear with you and say a small prayer for you and the people who have to deal with such a small minded bigoted prick!

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      • OK says:

        You don’t know the first thing about the BVI. That much is clear. When we had fish markets, cow, goat and pigs galore where were you?

        Now the food is imported you make believe that is all we are capable of. Real BVI supporters know the truth. Learn some local history.

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      • Percy says:

        Sir, to draw lines on crude racial lines says much to your personal ignorance. Your opinion is long on rhetoric but short on fact.

        The financial industry is maintained by international investment and interest, as is much of the cruise and tourism industry.

        The matter of independence is one which should be considered reverently and holistically for this territory and it’s peoples. Personally, I think together we can be better, but as an ‘expat’ it is not for me to say.

        What can be said definitively is that your racist and bigoted nonsense belongs in the bowels of history, and you should be man enough to put your name to such nonsense if that is what you truly believe and wish to maintain. To do otherwise, is cowardly, and not at all British.

      • Rubber Duck says:

        Here’s a good move. Lower the education standards so that lazy droolers can get a pass. That will help with the self reliance.

        Heres the truth.

        The place will be back to cassava bread and riding on donkeys

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    • Napoleon says:

      Give me a call.

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  2. WOW says:

    Premier that was an outstanding territory day speech.

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  3. SMDH says:

    There are some people that expect this government to fix everything in a few months that was left mashed up for years by the last greedy government. Premier please stay on target you and your team.

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  4. Youth man says:

    Thank you premier for putting the fixing of the Elmore Stoutt high school as a priority so that we all can attend school full time once again since Irma two years ago.

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  5. On time says:

    I like this. Hurry pass the consumer protection legislation and it will also help we the people.

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  6. This says:

    Speech reads recognition of past to current political realities and their future effects on socio, politico and economic self-reliance truths..

    Therefore, i concur with most to all of its tenets. As, it gives a fresh look at our Premier by those of us who are self-determinant and Pan Africanist by political philosophy and persuasion.

    Let us never be shy or timid of the future. Let us approach it with bravery and confidence. Let us but delve into it with anticipation of winning and not fear of losing.

    For only the timid and the weak will say, “no we can’t,” but the wise and visionary warrior will say, “yes we can,” and proceed to lead.

  7. @SMDH says:

    The government made us believe that they could fix everything in a few months. They heightened our expectations.

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    • :) says:

      If you or anybody else believed that our problems could be fixed in 4 months then you and the “us” you referred to are @$$h0l3$.

  8. smh says:

    I never thought they could fix everything in a few months. However, I did think they would address the most critical things as the Pockwood fiasco. They knew the problems were there from a number of years. Seems they would have had a plan in place or quickly devised a solution and put into action as soon as they were in office.
    They have done good things and are headed in the right direction, however, what the people from Pockwood Pond down to West End have and is enduring, an autrocity against humanity. Still no answers or hope in site. They have really dropped the ball on this thing.

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  9. RT says:

    You can begin by ending the theft of national health insurance. This practice denies people freedom. Enslaving people does not promote self reliance.

  10. Sam the man says:

    You take,take,take from the UK when it suits you look at how they assisted after Irma ! Then predictably you disrespect them by saying they don’t understand the BVI mentality/culture – why would they it’s Selfish, politically corrupt, most in Government are self seeking, we still pour sewage straight out into our beautiful environment for goodness sake, most of the surrounding reefs are dead because we don’t give a F!%k – we are doomed if you think we can stand alone we need good governance,transparency and the help of the U.K. Don’t be so ungrateful and stop playing for votes

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    • @sam the man says:

      You have not done proper research or you would have found that UK is the home of corruption. Also the UK should be ashamed of themselves to know that Irma is the only main time they assisted the BVI and that only came weeks after because of international pressure.

      • Fantasy says:

        Talking Bulls&#t again the UK was swift and helped us so much you ungrateful person – corruption unfortunately goes on in every country to a degree but we do seem to have much more than most in my opinion!

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        • :) says:

          You say UK helped us like they did us some great favor. What y’all seem to forget or overlook is that we are a British Territory. They did their duty as our “Mother country”

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          • Helper says:

            There’s still hundreds of millions of dollars waiting to rebuild the BVI with the U.K. underwriting 400m yet our governments past and present do nothing but get in the way of the upgrading of our infrastructure. These pledges will not hang around forever. There are other places to invest in who will be more businesslike to deal with.

            It’s telling (and disgusting) when our leaders turn down offer to build proper schools, like they are afraid of a more educated and savvy electorate. They are destroying the future prosperity of our children and our islands.

          • Fantasy says:

            The U.K. Responded dutifully and they honoured their commitment to us. What I dislike is this nasty self entitlement shown by politicians and many locals that they expect much from everybody else but do F!$k all themselves but then complain about it – the BVI needs to wake up it is no longer as desirable a tourist destination as it once was and needs to recover much faster – other Islands have recovered quicker whys that I wonder?

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  11. Reality says:

    And still you keep talking about Vision for F&!k’s sake you’ve had long enough to sort yourselves out and still you seem clueless – no doubt another expensive consultant (friend of someone) and charge a fortune for preparing a weak, vague Vision statement that will just be ignored! Our Government is inept we can’t even sort out our serving ministers promptly – ( Mr Vanterpool) says it all…

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  12. LOL says:

    Premier don’t mimd the few haters. There are more with you and your government than those against. Keep moving forward.

  13. RT says:

    What’s with the angry racism? Nobody wins, except the race baters, with ugly blind hate.I never thought the BVI would fall for this ignorance. Don’t you know that by now we are all mixed races?

  14. Leaders says:

    Is it that you want BVIslanders to be artificially promoted in companies that have been established and driven by expats (of many races- the comment above is ignorant that even if we just talk about a single country from where expats come from their people and our expats are not exclusively from any one racial group) or for the BVIslanders to get equivalent qualifications and years of experience to hold their own here or wherever they choose to be?

    Here there is the distinct home advantage and anyone with the relevant talent and experience can set up in business. The fact is, only because of our population size, we will need expatriates for generations. What would have helped however, is to naturalize those whom we know and trust after 15 years and to keep those who have been here 10 years by welcoming them with non-voting permanent residency and to bring in a resident non-belonger stamp duty of 5%, with a Belongers rate at 2-3% and a snowbird/foreigner rate still up at 10-12%. Keeping those we know and trust and those who have tirelessly batted for our cause daily throughout our recent storms and economic challenges is just sound business sense as much as it is anything else.

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