Acting Governor Perin Bradley delivering his remarks.
ANGUILLA–Acting Governor, Deputy Governor Perin Bradley, guest speaker at the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ACOCI’s) annual meeting held at the Four Seasons Resort on November 14, began his talk by saying, “I’d like to start with the good news, and I think it’s all good news. Even though we are a small economy, very susceptible to external shocks with limited monetary tools to respond, we do have a great fiscal policy. We are projected to end the year with positive economic growth of just under four per cent, driven by a strong performance in our construction sector.”
Bradley said the rebuilding of over 90 per cent of the villas damaged by Hurricane Irma, as well as the rebuilding of government facilities financed by a grant of 60 million pounds sterling from the United Kingdom, which must be dispersed within the next two years, will ensure that construction workers will continue to stay very busy. He said, “In terms of 2019, we are very optimistic that it will be a banner year for Anguilla with construction projects in the public sector, and the tourism sector reporting robust bookings. We are expecting to grow about six per cent next year.”
He touched on a number of ongoing economic initiatives to include a new seaport terminal and an airport expansion initiative, as well as the development of a special economic zone, and the residency by investment programme. He highlighted the monthly discussions held between the government and public sector which identify areas that challenge local businesses and entrepreneurship and the efforts to work towards alleviating them.
Acting ACOCI President, Desron Bynoe said, “The chamber has recognised the rapidly changing economic and financial landscape in Anguilla, and the necessity for more agility and financial stability in our economic development mandates. We are committed to the pursuit of economic transformation even in the face of enormous challenges. We have been open to active engagement and partnership with the government, financial institutions and regional institutions. The community must operate like a well-oiled machine to maximise on every commercial opportunity.” He said every touch point in the tourism area must operate at a five-star level to ensure sustainability. He paid special attention to the need to clean up the island and keep it clean through enforcement of the related laws.
Chief Minister Victor Banks and other government officials were also in attendance. Claudel Romney of BDO delivered the auditor’s report and Felicia Hill delivered the treasurer’s report. The meeting ended with voting to fill three vacant positions.