April 30, 2008
The Premier of Nevis, Hon. Joseph W. Parry returned to the Federation Tuesday evening after leading a delegation to the British and US Virgin Islands this past weekend. The gathering was designed to update and inform Nevisians residing there, on the progress the Nevis Reformation Party led Nevis Island Administration has made since taking office in July 2006.
The meetings were held at Maria’s by the Sea in Tortola, BVI and Victor’s Hideaway in St Thomas, USVI.
Both gatherings were well attended as Nevisians and friends of Nevis attended in their numbers to see and hear the report on their beloved island. Included in the meetings was a well organized power point presentation on the development and transformation of Nevis over the past 21 months, as well as a question and answer session which was the highlight each evening.
In his usual enlightening and well articulated style the Premier informed the audience of specific activities employed by his administration to better the standard of living for Nevisians. “This is why this government has been investing in the development of all our people regardless of their political persuasion. It is my Government’s intention to have at least one university graduate in each home in Nevis. We have already sent over one hundred persons to Universities abroad so far and within a next week or so, there would be another fifteen young persons going off to Trinidad to be trained and certified in plumbing, electricity and construction. This will put them in a position not only to earn more, but also to branch out and become owners of their own businesses,” he noted.
Premier Parry also highlighted the fact that in re-negotiating the deal with the New Found developers, his government insisted that a tertiary training institute be established for the hospitality industry. He said, “Our people must be trained so that we are not only cleaners and gardeners; but hold positions in upper and middle management”. Premier Parry told the audience, “We have been openly criticized for offering concessions to our people, but it seems alright when we do it for foreigners.”
“It is true that in order to attract certain quality investments to our country we tend to give foreigners concessions,” he said; “but what is so wrong if we offer the same duty-free concessions to our own people who want to conduct business, be entrepreneurs and expand their existing business”¦ What is so wrong?”
The appreciative crowd was informed that the Inland Revenue has reported that they have seen more revenue circulating in the country and more business licenses being sought. He added that more people are being hired as these businesses grow, thereby providing jobs and opportunities for the people of Nevis. It is his government’s aim, said the Premier, to encourage and support the development of small businesses.
“We have given Duty Free Concessions in farming, plumbing, electrical, baking, catering and a wide range of areas to encourage small business development and I would not apologize for this! It is my Government’s duty to develop Nevis, but also to help our people develop themselves,” said Premier Parry.