COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh reported from Denmark that he has had a number of productive discussions with Danish business leaders while engaging the Danish government in planning for the upcoming Transfer Day centennial celebration in 2017.
The first official visit in 13 years by a US Virgin Islands governor to the nation of which the territory was once a colony serves two purposes: business development and establishing the foundation for the 2017 Transfer Day celebrations, according to de Jongh.
The US Virgin Islands delegation attended a dinner on Wednesday night hosted by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- the governor is accompanied on the trip by Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, representatives of the Economic Development Authority, the St Croix Chamber of Commerce and a tax attorney from the DC legal counsel firm, Winston & Strawn.
Earlier in the week, de Jongh held talks with officials of Danish State Archives, the Danish Museum, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the ongoing project to digitize USVI archives and make them available to the US Virgin Islands.
Nicholson-Doty has held meetings with members of the Danish press and tourism firms, including Bravo Charters, to promote travel to the US Virgin Islands. The territory’s business representatives established relationships through the Danish Business Forum, and have been meeting with the leaders of several companies looking to do business in North America and interested in the benefits of locating their operations in the US Virgin Islands.
On Thursday, de Jongh was due to host a business forum at the US Embassy, where Danish firms can learn more about the benefits of the territory as a base for North American operations.
“Denmark has a number of small and medium sized businesses beginning to look at US and Canadian markets. The 2017 Transfer Day focus gives us a competitive advantage in building on that relationship,” de Jongh said.
As for Transfer Day 2017, the governor reported that the Danish government has established a steering committee to coordinate their involvement with the ceremonies.
“What’s important in Denmark is that there is the same sort of commitment, and I was able to establish that there is,” de Jongh said of the upcoming centennial.
The Virgin Islands representatives are also using the opportunity of visiting Denmark to gain knowledge from a world leader in alternative and renewable energy, waste management and climate research.
“This week, throughout our meetings and travels here in Denmark, we are seeing encouraging signs as we continue our efforts to lure businesses, promote tourism and plan a truly memorable and historic Transfer Day centennial celebration,” de Jongh said.