Having announced that it fulfilled many of its 2011 Manifesto promises, President of National Democratic Party (NDP) and Premier, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith stated that the 2015 Manifesto is part of his Government’s vision to keep the Territory on the path of prosperity.
In summarizing the plans outlined in the 2015 Manifesto Dr. Smith announced that the goal is to continue developing a strong economy through building the Territory’s twin pillars of tourism and financial services while promoting business development and improving essential infrastructure.
Dr. Smith announced that during his Administration the Territory experienced positive growth just over two years of his Government taking office. The NDP Leader said that the Territory must continue to make every effort to maintain a sense of prudent management of BVI finances.
The Premier reported that tourism returned to positive growth, and he said that his Government expects that over the next few years the tourism growth will reach at least 10 percent per annum. Further Hon. Smith declared that with the new cruise ship pier and auxiliary facilities all indications are that the BVI will become a leader in high end overnight tourism as well as with cruise tourism.
In noting the youth development plans, Hon. Smith said that his government looks forward to implementing recommendations from the youth policy. In fact, Hon. Smith noted that a number of the recommendations listed in the youth policy were incorporated into the 2015 Manifesto as a symbol of the role the youths play in the Territory’s development.
Agricultural development was noted in the 2015 Manifesto as the Party announced that an Agricultural Sales Corporation will be established as a statutory body that will be similar to the BVI Fishing Complex. The Agricultural Sales Corporation is expected to operate as a farmers market and provide retail distribution locations for locally grown small stock meat and agricultural produce.
On the consumer front the Party proposes to work diligently with regional and international shippers to get shipping costs of goods particularly from the United States mainland to the BVI reduced to be more comparable with costs in the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands.
The Party is keen on assisting citizens with housing and announced plans to work with local banks including the National Bank of the Virgin Islands to enhance the affordable housing programme.