More than 50 businesses participated in the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association BUY BVI Trade Expo held at the Multipurpose Sports Complex on April 16 and 17.
This year’s trade show showcased an array of products and services available locally available, and was held under the theme ‘Get Ready to Take it To the Next Level.’
Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion Honourable Marlon A. Penn, delivered remarks on behalf of Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE at the opening ceremony.
The Junior Minister said he was pleased to see that the annual trade show was the only event that brings local merchants together under one location, and wholeheartedly promote their services and products to the local community. He said it also helps to expose many small businesses and give them a competitive edge in the market.
He added, “This expo is capturing the essence of entrepreneurship and showcasing the increasingly innovative range of goods and services on the market catering to both local and overseas clientele.”
Honourable Penn added that there are a number of business support organisations existing in the Territory, and encouraged small business owners to take advantage of the opportunities afforded in this new business environment.
These organisations include the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, the Caribbean Overseas Small and Medium Enterprises (COSME) Programme, MVM Global Holdings Limited and the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Premier Smith, as Minister of Finance, has often highlighted the importance of innovative ideas and entrepreneurship in developing the BVI economy. He also believes that pioneering businesses remain key to developing and strengthening the local economy through increased local spending.
In his 2016 Budget Address, the Premier said the Government of the Virgin Islands will continue to focus heavily on trade and investment promotion as it seeks to expand the economy of the BVI through local and inward investments.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the Chairman of the BVI CCHA, Mr. Louis Potter, Mr. Tony Tuckett of Parts and Power Limited and BVI CCHA President of Business and Chairman of the Buy BVI Trade Expo 2016, Mr. Troy Christopher.
The annual expo is designed to encourage the expansion of trade within the community, and to reduce the level of imported products while highlighting unique business opportunities in the local economy.