Premier Parry observed that Nevis and the British Virgin Island are two competing jurisdictions and for an opposition politician to state in his address that Nevis was rampant with crime at a time when the British Virgin Islands is working feverishly to snatch back business they lost to Nevis was the green light, the BVI needs to reclaim the lost business.
Speaking on Tuesday April 24 on his weekly live radio program, In Touch With the Premier, aired on Choice 105.3 FM and other stations in the Federation, Premier Parry, who has a vast experience in the offshore financial services, observed that it was only in January that a special meeting was held in the BVI to discuss Nevis.
“They were discussing the losses of some of the Financial Service business to Nevis, and how they can recover that business,” revealed the Premier. “The gentleman told them how they could do it, because when he went and told them that crime was rampant, that is all they have to tell their former clients, that crime is rampant in Nevis.”
The Premier did not name the politician, but he was referring to a meeting organized by the Nevis Progressive Alliance Society (NAPS) in Tortola on Saturday April 21 to honor its first president Mr Theodore Skeete, the first Premier of Nevis, Dr Simeon Daniel, and the first Chief Minister of the BVI, Mr Ralph O’Neal.
Premier Parry had been invited but sent the Hon Dwight Cozier, the Minister with responsibility for Trade and Industry, Consumer Affair and Import and Export, to represent him. Also present at the event was Opposition Leader in the Federal Parliament, Hon. Mark Brantley who made the Feature address.
“I understand that he (Hon Cozier) did a very good job,” said the Premier. “But what disturbed me was the content of the feature speaker. If you are invited to the Virgin Islands to speak to Nevisians and you are asked to give a feature address, I would think that you would focus on what is happening in Nevis, whether you are in Opposition or not. I understand that Hon Vance Amory was also invited and he spoke pretty well about Nevis.”
According to the Premier, “another gentleman thought it necessary to focus on crime and to indicate that crime was rampant on Nevis and on St. Kitts, and to indicate that the government had lost its focus. I would like to know what message was that to the Virgin Islands.”
The Premier, who also has responsibility for Security on Nevis, observed that there were many murders that take place in the Virgin Islands, (the BVI, and USVI), and all the Caribbean islands but none of them goes about promoting murder and mayhem. Wherever crime is, people don’t go, so they do not promote their own crime.
“The same gentleman (feature speaker) turned around and said that he knows that the BVI knows how to do Financial Services and our people down there should try to tell people when they meet them to come to Nevis as well and that we could learn from the BVI,” remarked the Premier.
He advised the Opposition politician that Nevis and the BVI are two jurisdictions in competition and he could not expect one jurisdiction to get up and help its competitor to take away its clients and more so after he would have just given them the answer to preventing Nevis from being competitors to them by promoting crime on Nevis.
He accused the Opposition politicians of behaving like opportunists who use occasions like the one in the BVI to sell themselves and to denigrate their government and the people of Nevis, the very people they wish to serve. He said that they were totally selfish and short sighted and told Nevisians that people must pay for that type of behavior.