In monitoring the economy of the British Virgin Islands — one of its borrowing countries — the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has recorded an increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) for the territory last year.
GDP is the total value of goods and services (economic output) provided in a country each year. ‘Real GDP’ is the term used to define a country’s economic output after inflation costs are factored in.
Speaking at the bank’s 2019 Annual News Conference that BVI News attended in Barbados last Thursday, president of the CDB, Dr William Warren Smith, said the BVI managed to see an increase in real GDP despite experiencing the widespread devastation from hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“The Virgin Islands experienced a 50 percent decline in visitor arrivals [after the hurricanes]. Nevertheless, real GDP grew by over two percent as a result of buoyant business and financial services activity,” the CDB president reported.
This increase in real GDP, notwithstanding the disaster, happened under the leadership of Premier and Minister of Finance in the National Democratic Party government, Dr D Orlando Smith.
Meanwhile, the CDB boss noted that the BVI was not the only one of its borrowing countries that saw an increase in real GDP last year. He said reconstruction efforts in countries that were affected by the disasters also “contributed in large parts to their upturn”.
The CDB loaned $65 million to the BVI for rehabiliation and reconstruction following the 2017 disasters.
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