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Tuesday, July 5, 2022


The territory's two chambers of commerce and the Central Labor Council may not participate in the Economic Summit set for Thursday and Friday, reliable sources said Tuesday. These people — some of whom are listed on the agenda as speakers — said the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association and the V.I. Bankers Association might also withdraw.
However, Richard Doumeng, president of the Hotel Association, said Wednesday, they will be attending, and Tom Bolt, attorney for the Bankers Association told St. Thomas Source late Tuesday night that he had no knowledge of that group's withdrawal.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believe it is too soon after Gov. Charles W. Turnbull took office to have an economic summit. Further, they said, the format and agenda are not conducive to agreeing on concrete solutions and action plans. The summit agenda allows seven minutes for each speaker.
Doumeng voiced some of the same concerns saying, "We do have concerns about the amount of time we are given to discuss tourism."
The consensus among these people is that the summit's success requires more participation — including all 15 senators — and a setting where all involved can put their heads together and come up with real solutions instead of giving speeches.
Doumeng commented further, that he hoped the summit would be followed up "immediately" with smaller committee meetings.
Luis "Tito" Morales, president of the Central Labor Council, said he could not make a statement until "we get together." When asked who was getting together, he said the "presidents of the chambers" and himself. He said a meeting was planned before the summit opens Thursday. Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Lorraine L. Berry has spearheaded the summit. Other senatorial sponsors are Sens. Roosevelt C. David and David S. Jones. The agenda lists more than 50 speakers, plus more than a dozen round-table panelists, from government, business, labor and community organizations.

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