Business Column: ACOCI END OF THE YEAR MESSAGE

anguillian
By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:20 Updated

 

 

ACOCI END OF THE YEAR MESSAGE

As we all prepare to celebrate the season of perpetual hope, and will be gathered with family and friends, I want to wish everyone a blessed season, and a happy and healthy New Year. This is always a hopeful time, as we all celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of another.

No doubt the year 2017 was painful and, for many, will be etched in our memories for years to come. If nothing else, Hurricanes Irma and Maria have taught us that we are more resilient than we think. I, therefore, urge all to look back on this year with the confidence that brighter days are ahead of us.

The great importance that tourism plays in the local economy cannot be overemphasized. Hence, we need to be laser focused on the achievement of all major milestones in 2018, maximizing on every commercial opportunity. This will require a complete community effort, ensuring our product remains competitive and relevant in 2018 and beyond. Visitor expenditures on Anguilla, in the last five years, represented around 74.77% of GDP, evidently so, in the number of people employed by, and the income generated from, the industry.

By no stretch am I implying it is business as usual, as the passage of two category five hurricanes have ravaged our small developing island state and the wider Caribbean basin! Our lives, as we knew it, changed in an instant, given the effect on homes, businesses, agriculture, and livestock was significant, coupled with the unavailability of many essential services for varying timeframes.

The likely impact of such local and regional devastation on the cost of doing business is expected to increase; for example, we can expect increases in the coming year in insurance premiums given many global insurers and reinsurers have already issued profit warnings. Lloyd’s of London has announced that it expects net losses of US$4.5 billion from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Increases in other essential services are also likely.

In short, the Chamber is in no way removed from our realities. We, however, believe that it is with the same spirit and vigor that afforded us the capacity to celebrate Anguilla 50 in May of 2017. It is that same resolve through our vision and dreams that is going to propel us into the future for many generations to come. The Board recommits itself to serving you in 2018 and working with the relevant stakeholders to identify and embrace all opportunities in our adversity.

A special thank you to the Staff of the Chamber who daily produces exemplary work and continues to be the conduit for all stakeholders, with very limited resources at their disposable. To the Board, your unselfish sacrifices and dedication are commendable. In the end, Anguilla being “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Happy Holidays to you and yours

Mr. Desron Bynoe
President (Ag)
On behalf of the Board of
Directors

anguillian
By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:20 Updated

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