(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
Amidst widespread speculation of a fall out within the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration, At-Large Representative, Hon. Shereen Flax-Charles has broken her silence following her reassignment to the post of Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development.
Initially, when contacted by BVI Platinum News following the disclosure of the reshuffle by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie, Flax-Charles said she did not wish to speak 'at this time'
Subsequently, the Junior Minister released a statement via Facebook, stating that she was embracing the new opportunity.
"My duty to the Virgin Islands people transcends an office and my love for this country continues to drive me to excel as Junior Minister. I am honoured to have been entrusted me with the dynamic portfolio of Trade and Economic Development. Our manifesto makes clear our shared dedication to small businesses, economic diversification and human capital development," Hon. Flax-Charles stated.
Up until the weekend, Hon. Flax-Charles held the portfolio of Junior Minister for Tourism.
However, effective Monday 25th, November 2019, Hon. Flax-Charles was appointed the Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development. Hon. Sharie deCastro who held the post of Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, was reassigned to fill the post of Junior Minister for Tourism.
Hon. Flax-Charles pointed out that on February 25th 2019, 4033 voices united as one, giving her the responsibility of fair, honest and just representation as an At-Large member.
According to the Junior Minister, tourism in the BVI is maintained by the creativity and enterprise of entrepreneurs across this Territory and so the transition is as natural as the sail from Virgin Gorda to Tortola.
"I anticipate the formalisation of my new role and engaging with you the business community to execute impactful initiatives," Hon. Flax-Charles stated.
She added, "I am fresh, I bring the perspective of an entrepreneur and an innovator. I am willing and I am able. I look forward to receiving ideas from our business people and wider community. These are exciting times and I welcome the opportunity to help our people share in the economic wealth that is possible in our BVI."
"There is an opportunity to get tourism expertise at this time within the trade and economic agenda. Hone Flax-Charles comes with experience in tourism that will help to bolster our business development sector through the lens of tourism," Premier Fahie stated.
He added that Government wants to ensure that the business community is providing the right product offering as a destination and jurisdiction or that they are creating businesses that help to encourage and attract products and services that are of interest to visitors and residents.
According to the Premier, since they are diversifying the tourism product beyond sun, sea and sand, the reassignment is important to allow for the expansion of that part of sector with the reality that visitors are consumers of local products, good and services.
He explained that equally important, Hon. deCastro will bring business development, integration, and innovation into the tourism industry.