New Turks and Caicos Governor Sworn In

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Above: New Turks and Caicos Governor Peter Beckingham with Premier Dr Rufus Ewing

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Turks and Caicos Islands swore in the territory’s new Governor, Peter Beckingham, on Wednesday.

Beckingham succeeds Ric Todd in the post, who had served in the TCI since late 2011. He had spent the past four years working in Mumbai as the United Kingdom’s Deputy High Commissioner.

“At the start of any new assignment there are always a mixture of emotions and hopes: mine include humility in the face of the range of challenges, excitement at the prospect of working here, and commitment to do my level best for the people of your Islands,” Beckingham said in his opening address. “I hope that gives you, the Government, the Opposition and, most importantly, the entire population an insight into my priorities as I and my wife begin this journey with you.”

Beckingham said he brought a “good deal of experience working with investors,” and that he hoped that would prove useful as the government “seeks to stimulate more business interest from overseas.”

“More investment will stimulate the economy, and I am delighted to hear that the Government has already succeeded in raising GDP, not only through capturing more business developments, but also pressing ahead with programmes designed to boost revenue,” he said.

Beckingham’s arrival could mean a fresh start for a relationship between the elected government and the Governor’s office that had been rocky since the return of democratic rule in 2012.

Above: Premier Dr Rufus Ewing and Governor Peter Beckingham

“Your Excellency, as I once again extend to you a warm welcome to the Turks and Caicos islands as Governor, I hasten to say that there is much work to do in serving the needs of the people of our country, but together we will endeavor to address the many challenges that are currently being experienced and those that lie in the way of progress,” TCI Premier Dr Rufus Ewing told Beckingham. “We look forward to a mutually respectful, collaborative and cooperative working relationship as we strive together towards the attainment of our vision in the best interest of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

Beckingham said their joint objective must be to “deliver sustainable, long term prosperity for the people of the Islands and, looking ahead, to enable TCI to finance its borrowing independently after 2016,” he said.

Todd will take over as the British High Commissioner to Cyprus in 2014.