Remarks delivered by Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Gregory Bowen on the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of RUBIS

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 2:25 PM- George's, Grenada

Thank you Chair for you kind introduction.
Good evening everyone.

It is indeed a pleasure for me to address you briefly this evening [on behalf of the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Energy, who unfortunately, is unable to join us] at this important event to mark the fifth anniversary of such a prestigious company.

Allow me to warmly welcome Mr. Mauricio Nicholls, CEO of RUBIS Caribbean, who is visiting our beautiful shores at this time to celebrate this achievement.

I also recognize in our midst, Mr. Charles Archer, CEO of the Grenada branch, as well as other staff members who are present.
Permit me to also recognize members of the business community and other distinguished invitees who are here, including, of course, the Media.

The Government is extremely pleased to be associated with this celebration here this evening, and wishes to join in congratulating the Company for, first of all, its decision to invest in Grenada, and secondly, for its growing contribution to the economic and social landscape of our Country.  As a Government, we hope that Rubis will grow from strength to strength, and continue to play its part in building Grenada.

So far tonight, we have heard of the significant achievements of Rubis since its launch 5 years ago.
In this regard, I want to touch quickly on a few points.

Contribution to the economy
Ladies and gentlemen, the development of our energy sector is critical to our development; and in many ways, fuel is the lifeblood of our economy.

The role that RUBIS and other petroleum companies are playing in supplying quality fuel on the Grenadian Market is a very important one and should never be underestimated. Of particular recognition also, is the role that it plays in creating employment, meeting its obligations to the state and also in collaborating with Government on important initiatives, to bring benefits to our people. One such example is its contribution to Grenada’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, in collaboration with NADMA. 

For the ordinary Grenadian, and small business owners, Rubis' collaboration and assistance in stabilizing the retail price of cooking gas is paramount. Therefore, we understand the need for Companies like this to be strong and successful to be able to make even greater contributions to the economy.


Role of Government
As a Government, one of our key responsibilities is to create the right environment for private businesses to grow and flourish.

The economic reform programme that we have been implementing since 2014 is critical in this regard. 
We are encouraged by the strong results we have seen since 2014. The economy has rebounded very strongly. Of course, as the economy grows, businesses will grow, and vice versa.

We have seen some gains on the employment front—albeit not as rapidly as we would like—but more and more jobs are being created. Our fiscal and debt situation have improved. Business and investor confidence as we have seen, have also improved significantly.

This is a major turnaround from where we were 5 years ago when your Company entered the market. I am sure your Company would have felt this turnaround.

There is much positive happening in and for Grenada at this time. I must make the point, however, that significant challenges do remain and so we must continue to work diligently together to build on what we have already accomplished. We, therefore, thank all the partners that have been on board in this period of shared sacrifice, and we ask that everyone work with us, stay the course, as we all realise more and more benefits.

Role of RUBIS and other Petroleum Companies

I applaud RUBIS on its 5th Anniversary Celebration. We look forward to your new chapter – the next 5 years.
We look forward to additional investments, employment creation and so forth.

We look forward to continued investment in new and emerging technologies to bring the best quality products and services to the Grenadian market. Clean energy is quickly becoming necessary for the very survival of humanity. We are all experiencing the effects of climate change; and must each play our part to help to reverse the damaging effects of this phenomenon on our societies and livelihoods.

Petroleum companies must lead from the front in this regard.

With respect to corporate social responsibility, I wish to applaud RUBIS for its very active engagement at the community level. RUBIS has been involved in many worthwhile and impactful projects in education, tourism, sports and the environment. These include the sponsorship of the annual Grenada Bill Fish Tournament; NADMA’s Primary School Quiz; assistance with infrastructure and other projects such as the Bel Air Home and the Grand Anse Home for the Aged; and of course, your traditional support to the Grenada Spicemas Corporation.

These are significant events, projects and activities, with far-reaching positive implications for our economy and people, and we are very appreciative of Rubis' involvement. Government is always pleased when the private sector carries out its corporate responsibility because it means that there is less of a strain on the already stretched and limited Government resources.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I again congratulate Rubis this evening on this significant milestone.

The Government of Grenada is committed to working together with all our stakeholders to build a strong and vibrant economy; and we are only too aware of the role that petroleum companies play in that regard. We therefore look forward to your continued investment in Grenada and its people, and your continued successes in the Grenadian market.

Best wishes to you for the next five years and beyond.

I thank you.




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