August 13, 2010
Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry has defended his Governments’ decision to do Financial Service business with non-traditional markets such as the Middle East. He addressed the issue on the “Breakfast with Walty”, radio program hosted by, Walter Morton on Choice Radio 105.3FM, Tuesday.
On Wednesday, July 28th,2010 during a Press Conference of the Opposition party in Nevis, the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Senator- Hon. Mark Brantley criticized the decision of the Nevis Reformation Party led Administration to do business with the Middle East.
“We would recognize that the Premier have made two trips to Lebanon. I myself have commented publicly that Lebanon is a curious choice if one wants to promote Financial Services,” commented Mr. Brantley.
The Premier strongly defended his administration’s position.
“We have to understand business and petty politics. Maybe we shouldn”t do business with Lebanon, Israel or Kuwait? Maybe all the money that we have taken from Kuwait to build our roads, maybe we should dig up them up and give the Kuwaiti’s back their roads,” said the Premier.
During the program the, Premier said he met with Morning Star Holdings, a Financial Service company located in Nevis, earlier this year. In the meeting, a representative from Morning Star stated that Nevis is stagnant in relation to growth of the Financial Service sector on the island. Mr. Parry said he asked the representative why is Nevis stagnant? The representative replied, because the government of Nevis is doing nothing to drive the industry.
According to Premier Parry, Morning Star Holdings claimed that they have given some proposals to the Financial Secretary, but because of the Governments limited funds, Government could not afford to act on the proposals.
“Another reason why the Offshore Financial Service has been suffering is because the industry is under heavy attack from the United States and Europe for their own tax and revenue purposes,” commented the Premier.
For the mentioned reasons, the Premier said that the alternative would be to look at non-traditional areas where there is growth like India, China and the Middle East.
Over the past two years, the Premier has been negotiating for the registry to become automatic. He said, this will help put on about 10,000 companies on the register per year, in addition to companies that are already in place.
The Premier noted that Morning Star Holdings said it can be done, but “it might cheapen the industry.”
“Belize is doing this and it is not cheapening the industry, the British Virgin Islands and St. Lucia has done what I am trying to do, but something is wrong when I am using initiative and lead?”
Mr. Parry informed listeners that the registry would be headed by an American Public Relations Firm and financed by a Middle Eastern organization.
Just before the closing of the program, the Premier then said that “Morning Star Holdings leaked information to their company’s lawyer, Hon. Mark Brantley.” Mr. Parry then went on to say that he has the information to prove the leak.
“What is basically being done is that this country is being manipulated by people who can use their lawyers to tell the nation that the Government is selling out the off shore industry.”
Mr. Parry clearly stated that if he and his Government did not sell out to Four Seasons, Geothermal, Viceroy or Cable Television why would they now sell out the industry of Financial Services?
The Premier exclaimed, “It is Nonsense!”