“Post remains relevant,” BVI Premier tells Caribbean Postal Union Conference
Speaking at the 18th Annual Caribbean Postal Union Conference, the Premier of the British Virgin Islands Dr D Orlando Smith stated his government’s belief that “despite the fact that there are advanced telecommunications systems in the more advanced territories and nations of the world, post has remained relevant”. Dr Smith, who gave the opening speech at the conference, went on to say: “Postal administrations are essential; they provide a link between nations across borders at the most effective rates possible, act as facilitators for intra and international trade, and in this modern fast paced environment provide business services to the farthest corners of the world.
“Indeed, the issues that we are faced with are varied and critical, but we should ensure that the network of administration throughout the region and globally, not only exists into the foreseeable future, but is efficient and able to compete with other services that have been able to capitalise on the more profitable sectors of postal activities.”
Dr Smith argued that using new technology and investing in training were both essential to keep postal services relevant.
“Several challenges face the Post today. One of these challenges is the harnessing of electronic systems to facilitate express mail,” said Dr Smith.
“In the BVI we are currently in the position to take advantage of the electronic tracking software in the form of IPS and PRIME a customer service software package that allows us to maintain a high level of service to our customers by tracking express mail and keeping track of parcels and registered mail,” added Premier Smith.
“We must ensure that our officers are trained to the highest levels possible in all areas of postal activity. We [in the BVI], for example, see the need for basic or even advanced training in business, accounting and logistics. In this regard we are very much pleased with the work of the Caribbean Postal Training Centre.”
Dr Smith also focused on the importance of maintaining the postal network’s defence against terrorists and criminals: “In this era there is also the threat of heightened global terrorism and we must recognise that Postal Administrations have deeply relevant roles to play in national security, as we serve as an avenue through which goods are moved across borders.
“In the BVI we have taken a proactive stance to ensure that the integrity of the Post Office’s mandate is not compromised, and that we are not being used to facilitate the movement of controlled and illegal substances or firearms, ammunition and explosives into, and through the British Virgin Islands.
“We have moved significantly in this regard, and in the coming months and years will continue to do so. I urge all my colleagues today to continue on this track, and where you have not to invest significant effort in doing so.
“Pursuant to this very real issue of security, we also recognise the need for postal administrations to forge strong alliances with the border control agencies in our territories, in order that the rim of security around our borders could be ever easier to manage and control. In the BVI for example, we are intent at developing a closer and mutually respectful relationship with our Customs and Police agencies to achieve just that.”
Click here to access the full text of Dr Smith’s address to the CPU conference, hosted on the BVI government website.
The 18th Annual Caribbean Postal Union Conference, which is taking place at Maria’s By The Sea Hotel, began Monday and will conclude on Friday.