Capital Economics has been commissioned by BVI Finance Limited to research and report upon the contribution made by the British Virgin Islands to the global economy.
This report combines new analysis of existing information, statistics and research with the results from a major quantitative and qualitative research exercise among a large and representative sample of financial and professional services firms operating in the territory.
There are five key findings.
First, despite its relatively small size, BVI is a real, balanced and sustainable economy.
• With gross domestic product of roughly US$32,500 per capita, BVI’s levels of prosperity are among the higher performers in the Caribbean and Latin America region.
• It is a remarkably balanced economy: tourism accounts for one in four jobs, while the international business and finance centre accounts for one in ten. Half of BVI’s economic output derives from these two key sectors.
• BVI has maintained a sound fiscal position despite the impact of the global financial crisis, while it runs a surplus of around US$45 million on its trade account.
Second, BVI is home to a unique cluster of financial and professional services firms that form an ‘international business and finance centre’.
• BVI is one of the world’s largest centres for the incorporation of companies – especially those created to facilitate cross-border trade and investment, and is home to a cluster of associated specialist financial, legal and accounting firms with clients from across the globe.
• The international business and finance centre employs 2,200 people directly and supports a further 3,000 jobs – and generates US$330 million of gross value added and accounts for three-fifths of government revenues.
• Over two-thirds of all jobs in the centre are held by BVIslanders and Belongers.
Third, the ‘BVI Business Company’ is a widely used and dependable vehicle to facilitate cross-border trade, investment and business.
• There are currently just under 417,000 active BVI Business Companies. Roughly two-fifths originate from Asia while use by clients from ‘G7’ countries is less common, accounting for less than one-fifth. The assets held by these vehicles have an estimated worldwide value of US$1½ trillion. This investment is equivalent to roughly two per cent of global gross domestic product.
• Major respected companies worldwide use BVI Business Companies to manage their cross-border activities. BVI is home to part of the group structure of over 140 major businesses listed on the London, New York or Hong Kong main stock exchanges.
• The important role of BVI Business Companies in international investment flows is evident from data on foreign direct investment. According to the United Nations, BVI was the ninth largest recipient of foreign direct investment, and the seventh largest source of outward flows in 2015.
Fourth, BVI is a sound and reliable centre which has worked harder than many bigger nations to meet international standards, and not some supposed tax haven.
• BVI is not a tax haven. It has no banking secrecy rules and compares well against many other jurisdictions on international standards for transparency, tax information exchange, anti-money laundering and measures to combat the financing of terrorism.
• BVI is ‘tax neutral’ and is not a centre for corporate profit shifting. Just because a company is incorporated in BVI does not stop it being liable for full taxation in other jurisdictions.
• The territory has responded quickly and constructively to international developments seeking to improve transparency and clamp down on criminality, including tax evasion.
Fifth, through its direct employment, trade and, most importantly, facilitation of cross-border business, BVI supports jobs, prosperity and government revenues worldwide.
• BVI provides jobs and incomes to 5,500 people from most countries in the wider-Caribbean region – as well as supporting around 12,000 jobs in the United States through its imports.
• The investment mediated by BVI supports around 2.2 million jobs worldwide, with China (including Hong Kong) accounting for nearly two-fifths of them – and one-fifth in Europe.
• The scale of BVI’s global contribution to investment and jobs sheds a new light on the debate around its impact on the tax receipts of other nations. BVI is a substantial net benefit to governments worldwide.
Irma Moving Closer To The Northern Leeward Islands
At 500 AM, the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 52.3 West. Irma is moving toward the west-southwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A turn toward the west is expected later today, followed by a west-northwestward turn late Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move closer to the Leeward Islands through Tuesday and then be near the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night.
Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast through Tuesday night.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).
The estimated minimum central pressure is 961 mb.
As a result hurricane watches are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.
A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
Interests in the remainder of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of Irma. Additional Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches may be required for portions of this area on Monday.
Irma will pass very close or over the northern Leeward Islands on Wednesday. The first squalls and tropical storm force winds are expected to reach the islands late on Tuesday. It could move near or over the British Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon or evening. The track has also been shifted closer to Puerto Rico.
Irma is a dangerous category 3 hurricane. Strengthening is likely as it tracks generally westward. By Wednesday, it is expected to make its closest approach to the Leeward and British Virgin Islands as a powerful category 4 hurricane.
Based on the current forecast track, the eye of Hurricane Irma is expected to pass approximately 37 miles north east of the British Virgin Islands.
Please continue to monitor local media stations, DDM’s website (bviddm.com) and Facebook at BVIDDM for regular updates and preparedness tips.
Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life.
This article has been republished from www.bviddm.com
Are we on the brink of a jobless future?
By PBS NewsHour
Futurologists have been predicting the automation armageddon -- robots replacing human workers -- for decades. Has the future finally arrived? Economics correspondent Paul Solman visits Silicon Valley to talk with leading tech thinkers and computer scientists about whether humanity is at a tipping point.
Video Source: PBS News Hour
The New Zealand Election, Charlottesville and a slippery slope
This is a response to “I will not be voting in this election”. This article made me feel sad and frustrated, as if young kiwis don’t see the big picture at all. So, if you know what the word neoliberalism means, you want politics to feel more relevant, but you feel exhausted by politics and the way it works right now, this is for you.
Young people in New Zealand have tough choices to make during elections at the moment. Parties put forward leaders of their choosing, and play the old game of billboards, press conferences and augment 20th century democracy with weekly attempt at Facebook live. Young kiwis talk about wanting to be able to vote for socialism, or to vote for no one because no political party on offer suits their emerging paradigm. New Zealand is only recently neoliberal in many ways, and yet in other countries like the US you can see the way “money in politics” builds a separate political class, captured by corporate interests over cultural values or community interests. Money in politics is not just about the truck lobby funding a political party to build roads, it’s also about how money and class become culturally worshipped within a neoliberal economy, which is attached to a story of separation, individualism and “fending for yourself”. Yes this story is killing us. It’s eroding our environment, our social fabric, our belief in each other, and our sense of what life is for. We need to press the restart button on almost every aspect of society’s structures in order to rebuild them within a new story, including how our politics is operating. The irrelevant reality TV show that is our popularity politics steeped in the story of separation is obviously steaming toward a cliff. But are we shooting ourselves in the foot by tuning out?
I think that it’s time to dig in our heels, vote strategically and actively build the foundation for Aotearoa New Zealand to thrive again in the long term.
In the short term, this is unbelievably simple:
Party vote progressive/left.
There, I gave away the punchline. That is the action I want you to take. Why? These three reasons are scarier than you think.
1) Political parties either build or erode the context for securing a better future
In the United States, most people feel that their political system doesn’t understand their needs or priorities. Neoliberal reforms towards smaller government and bigger markets have eroded welfare, health services and educational opportunities. Values of fairness and egalitarianism are less popular than competition and individual success. As a symptom, the man who epitomises “every man for himself” is in the most powerful seat. The Trump administration has provoked and normalised racism and hate speech during their campaign and yet were able to win due to thousands of dark and intertwined factors. The US population’s’ rejection of the existing political structures, desperation for changes especially the revitalisation of the economy in dying towns, and cultural mistrust of difference are just a few.
Last week in Charlottesville, Virginia an international white supremacy rally caused violent injury and death of local people. Locals peacefully marching down a road aiming to demonstrate that hateful groups of extremists are not tolerated in their town were brutally attacked. For full information watch this short VICE documentary (trigger warnings: racist hate speech, car violence, unhelpful police). Donald Trump’s initial reaction said he condemns these behaviours “on many sides”, failing to acknowledge the “Unite the Right” rally as the perpetrating group.
This recent tragedy is a microcosm of the tension, disruption and values contortion which the US is experiencing right now. The consistent use of a neoliberal ideology to build the United States in the past 50 years has created the perfect conditions for this storm.
Folks interested in building an inclusive economic and political future for the United States were fired up for Bernie Sanders’ call for democratic socialism, and fired up for Obama the community organiser black president. But in the choice between Hilary’s “slightly improve the status quo” and Trump’s “drain the swamp” there was a sense of confusion even in my progressive circles. I met a young woman at a dinner event about inclusive workplaces, and she was voting for Trump as an act of rebellion. Not only was there that breed of confusion during the election campaign, but now there is a bigger confusion: How do we build the inclusive cultural future we see as possible, when we’re busy trying to organise counter protests against violent, heavily armed hate groups? How do we build the inclusive energy future we know is urgent, while trying to organise petitions to shame and change the decisions of the CEO of Exxon Mobil — the Secretary of State and Climate? The cards are officially stacked against progressively minded folks who want to build a world where most people thrive. We are forced to fight fires with one hand while juggling our own lives and organise a proactive community food program with what energy is left.
The policies, behaviours and influence of political parties in power can erode the political context in which work can be done to secure a better future.
Of course we can see the holes in the Labour party, and the two party system. But we have the opportunity to disrupt that. The Opportunities Party is doing a great job at shaking up the debates. It will be much more likely for new political parties to form and new political agendas to be proposed such as “NZ as a commons” (see Barcelona in common, as an example). We can present entirely new political stories — new narratives for society at large. But this will be hard without progressive/centre left politicians in power. Because everyone who cares about fairness, and access to opportunity, will be busy screaming for basic rights to be upheld, while those in power buy bigger earplugs and decide welfare should get smaller and smaller and smaller.
2) The “ruling class” becomes more irrelevant and detached the more you ignore them
In New Zealand, we are looking at a future where we are disengaged further and further from our sense of sovereignty due to a strong neoliberal political culture since 2008. Almost ten years of the National Party has cultivated a political realm that is irrelevant to New Zealanders issues — ignoring the housing crisis, slow to respond to the Christchurch rebuild, blocking Auckland Council’s access to a support for their rapid transit budget, while building hundreds of millions of dollars of slightly improved motorways, and spending millions on a flag changing process as a distraction to cover up their work on the TPPA all the while working very hard to maintain their relatable, reasonable and responsible media facing brand. New Zealand has been run by a self-serving elite political class that is already on the way to building a dystopic separatist future that is being experienced in the United States. This risk is real and it isn’t an over statement.
Metiria’s recent experience being vilified for telling a true story of hardship from a position of political standing shows that vulnerability is not welcome, real issues faced by mothers are not welcome. All the while our existing political class carrying on with their own tax evasion style tactics and using of legal loopholes to make the best of it for themselves. Bill English and the National Party admonished Metiria. But Bill English cheated the state to make a buck rather than to get by! Declaring he lived in in Southland to gain access to an extra $32,000 of taxpayer money for a housing allowance while living in Wellington and owning multiple properties (on advice from his personal lawyer, while in parliament), shows he is completely removed from the experience of normal NZ communities that are simply making money, keeping jobs, raising children, and finding 5 minutes for their passions in a complex puzzle of factors in order to live their lives in houses rather than on streets. Political elitism is divorced from a culture that values community, and when decision makers live at a distance from real issues it not only makes politics feel irrelevant NOW, but will make it more likely for politics to be irrelevant and violently irresponsible into the future.
Voting today is part of a journey for you to reconnect our politics to what you care about.
3) Nation states are easier to maintain than create
Our societies are geographic, land-based mutual support networks. They are our shared kingdoms we swear allegiance to. When we live somewhere, we should be able to say “I like the way things are run around here and I want to be part of this”. Its very difficult to build these.
States are usually the product of war, if not a challenging international negotiation process at a table accessible only to existing nation states. To have control and power and influence and discretion and mandate to make changes across geographical region that you have exclusive access to, is not possible to get without force unless you live in a democracy.
Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the best opportunities to engage with the existing democratic structures in order to make them more relevant over time. Maintaining democracy — access to decision making in our geographical mutual aid network — is a choice. When we choose to disengage we’re not actually choosing to build a new democracy. Revolution is not as sexy as it sounds. It might come as a surprise to some people, but this would be very difficult to do. Restoring a broken, captured state would require extreme use of force or taking on extreme international debt (or both) and I don’t think that’s what we want or need for New Zealand.
In the context of global changes NZ has always practiced leadership and been out in front. We punch above our weight, we take the moral high ground. We have always been involved in looking at new ways of doing things. I could list many from being first to enable women’s right to vote, through to the Waitangi Tribunal process, the nuclear free decision, the role NZ took in the South African apartheid via the SpringBok tour.
Aotearoa NZ is an incubation nation. We can try things others can’t. We are in a lucky position to create the political environment that we want. We have the same % of naysayers as anywhere else, but we also had the first Green Party in the world (1972). From my perspective, the Green Party really innovated participatory policy development processes. Building community chapters and facilitating a tree of input from members towards collaboratively developed policies. No matter how niche their voters seem, they have pioneered new politics. We have a political precedent for innovation around how communities participate and get represented in creating the future of our nation state. This approach has been taken up by 100 countries. Global players pay attention to what we try here.
Our nation state is small and enclosed by water, making us an ideal incubation nation environment. And we didn’t stop innovating on fundamental aspects of our society in the 70s, its happening now. For example, the founder of one of the most influential cryptocurrencies is coming to NZ through the Edmund Hillary Fellowship. This is an exciting opportunity for some innovative testing at the highest level; what is the future of our financial system? Can we make a more just, fair, and transparent economy? What is the possibility of the blockchain technology itself making voting more secure? I don’t know. The blockchain space is filled with just as many power hungry people as the US money system. However, there’s an opportunity there to strike out and do something different. We are staying relevant when we innovate with the pulse of the world, and if we incubate the future in Aotearoa, we will be immersing these innovations in uniquely kiwi values which values-confused states like the US really need role modelled. The incredible wisdom and cultural lineage of Te Ao Māori is valuable beyond measure. What happens when we go above and beyond to build a nation state of the future which is deeply informed by and empowering for indigenous and pacific people? This is a special kind of incubation that we can only enable if we build a more equal society and enable tangata whenua to truly stand in their power alongside folks like the one building this cryptocurrency.
We have a history of trying things, pushing the boundaries and adopting new approaches. Initiatives like EHF are positioning New Zealand to be a culture MAKER not a culture taker in the next 100 years. Will you help to create a space for political innovations which we could share with the world? Will you help maintain the access to decision making that we have now? Will you help us hold on to a democracy that isn’t completely corrupt so there’s oxygen in our political economy to use for creating something new rather than have to fight to rebuild something we lost because we got apathetic?
Changing the course of nation states without enormous violence or disruption is about consistently making decisions & innovating towards our values and vision. And we are so well positioned to not only help ourselves but help other nation states see a new path forward.
Keep your claws in
If we continue to disengage and dislocate ourselves from our political system as it is now, then we will lose our footing. When you detect that exhausting feeling of “this is broken and it’s too much to fix it, no amount of thinking carefully will stop this building from burning” use it as a signal to take a deep breath and keep voting. Don’t drown yourself in Youtube and sugar. You don’t have to build anything alone, but I need you to vote, so that next year we don’t have to fight fires and instead we can work towards more interesting visions for our future. Our futures are so interesting we can’t even describe them coherently yet. It won’t be Socialism, Communism or Capitalism. It’s not Green or Labour or National. It’s local and it’s global. It’s environmentally and economically viable. It’s inclusive and yet allows for autonomy. And it needs you to carve out some sunlight for it to grow in.
Now, and every election in the foreseeable future, is a time to vote for parties that you agree with (even if their policies don’t feel perfect yet). It’s time to get people who can relate to you buckled up into the seats of power. Vote to say “sit there, please, hold the fort for us while we build something new, and be ready to help me when I’ve got something for us to use at scale”.
This article has been republished from www.medium.com
Everybody Wants to Be Famous
Why empathy and creativity should be part of your reputation-management plan.
Fame. Everyone likes to sneer at it while secretly wishing they got a bit more attention for the things they do. Maybe that’s because it’s easier to be famous now than it has ever been. The rise of social media has ensured that almost anyone who wants to can have a taste of fame, even if it’s for nothing more than posting a few witty Tweets or videos of cats. Meanwhile, reality TV transforms ordinary people into celebrities overnight. Is it really a surprise that the most famous woman in the world among millennials, Kim Kardashian, is someone whose only obvious talent is being famous?
This isn’t a criticism. We all like approval for the good things we do and attention for our professional achievements. There are those among us who want to raise their profile as good people because it serves as a form of protection against negative press or unfounded, aggressive criticism. There are those who have worked hard and tried to give back to society, hoping (I think completely understandably) that they might be appreciated. There are people who have a message they think has great social importance and want to promote themselves so they can share it with others. And there are people who simply want to improve their job prospects. In decades of managing the reputations of politicians, CEOs and entrepreneurs, among other highly successful and wealthy people, I’ve seen countless examples of people who have reached the very zenith of their field, only to see a rival with less ability and fewer achievements—but better PR—take the plaudits.
In my line of work, the numerous reasons that someone might wish to raise his or her profile are largely irrelevant. My clients never want to be famous for fame’s sake. My job is to make sure that they get the attention and respect that, in almost all cases, I genuinely feel they deserve.
Profile-raising is a complex exercise. When we create tailored services for the people whose reputations my practice manages, we take into account their strengths and weaknesses, their interests and irritations, and their goals, short- and long-term. Yes-men and yes-women are a blight on good personal public relations: A large part of PR is providing an expert perspective, which can include, for example, advising clients that their goals are too ambitious (or not ambitious enough), or that they will need media training before they step in front of a camera.
One major and undervalued aspect of profile-raising is empathy and creativity. A good consultant must be able to empathize with his or her clients in order to understand the driving forces in their lives, their frustrations and their desires. Consultants also need to have empathy with the public: Why, for example, should Joe and Jane Bloggs pick up the newspaper and read about a client? The needs and desires of the wider public matter. Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are essential to creating a satisfying and complete narrative that will capture the attention and interest of the right demographic. Everyone is interesting. The task is to extract that information from the client and tell the story in an engaging way.
It goes without saying that fame isn’t everything. But wishing to grow a wider audience for yourself also isn’t inherently egotistical or shallow. We have a deep need for attention and approval from other people because we’re all social creatures. Let’s just be honest about it, and go about getting it thoughtfully.
This article has been republished from www.worth.com
Exclusive: Read the Inauguration Day letter Obama left for Trump
By Kevin Liptak
During his final moments in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama folded into thirds a handwritten letter to Donald Trump, slid it into an envelope, and in neat capital letters addressed it to "Mr. President."
Now, the contents of that letter -- the last direct communication between the 44th and 45th presidents -- have emerged for the first time after CNN obtained a copy.
Dear Mr. President -
Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.
This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don't know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.
First, we've both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It's up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that's willing to work hard.
Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It's up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that's expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions -- like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties -- that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.
And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches.
Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
Good luck and Godspeed,
Four pieces of advice
The words reveal a conciliatory outgoing commander in chief with four items of advice for his successor, whose fitness for the job he'd spent the previous months openly questioning.
"Congratulations on a remarkable run," Obama wrote in his opening line. "Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure."
Written out longhand on White House stationery and slipped into the top drawer of the Resolute Desk, the 275-word letter captures an outgoing president eager to instill in Trump the vast responsibilities and uncertain parameters of the job.
Obama, when writing the letter, didn't disclose the content even to his closest aides. Since then, however, Trump has shown the letter to visitors in the Oval Office or his private White House residence. CNN obtained a copy from someone Trump showed it to.
"This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don't know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful," Obama wrote. "Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years."
Obama reminds Trump, a billionaire businessman, that they've both been "blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune."
"Not everyone is so lucky," Obama said. "It's up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that's willing to work hard."
He advises Trump that American leadership is "indispensable" and encourages him "through action and example" to sustain post-Cold War international order.
And he offers a warning against eroding the tenets of democracy in the name of political gain.
"We are just temporary occupants of this office," Obama wrote. "That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions -- like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties -- that our forebears fought and bled for."
"Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them," he said.
That passage, read seven months after Trump took office, appears prescient. Trump has been accused of flouting rule of law in his broadsides against federal judges and his own attorney general. His verbal assaults on Congress have led to charges that he's disregarding the constitutionally enshrined separate but equal branches of government.
Trump, however, is said to cherish Obama's missive. Upon reading it on Inauguration Day, he attempted to place a phone call to the former president expressing his gratitude, according to both a current White House official and a former Obama aide. His predecessor was traveling west to California with his family, and couldn't take the call.
When one of Obama's aides reached back out to the White House to return the call, the new president's staffers said Trump just wanted to say thank you for the note -- and wanted Obama to get the message. The men never connected directly.
"It was long. It was complex. It was thoughtful," Trump said of the letter the week after taking office in an interview with ABC News. "And it took time to do it, and I appreciated it."
During the interview, Trump showed the news crew the letter, pulling it from its envelope. He wouldn't read it out loud.
In writing Trump the letter, Obama was continuing a long tradition set by past presidents. He received his own handwritten note from George W. Bush on the day of his inauguration counseling him of uncertain days ahead.
"There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your 'friends' will disappoint you," Bush wrote. "But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me."
Eight years earlier, Bill Clinton offered an optimistic view of the job.
"The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated," he wrote Bush in 2000. "The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible."
And in 1992, George H.W. Bush wrote Clinton that "your success now is our country's success."
"I am rooting hard for you," he concluded. "Good luck."
Obama's letter is nearly twice as long as his predecessors' and includes more specific pieces of advice. But like Clinton and both Bushes, he offers a view of the job that accounts both for its thrill but also its ability to humble.
"Take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family," Obama wrote. "They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches."
Since reading the letter for the first time, Trump hasn't spoken or seen Obama. Instead he's frequently criticized the former president, rolled back significant elements of Obama's agenda, and privately obsessed about comparisons between himself and the man he replaced.
Obama, meanwhile, has weighed in selectively on Trump since leaving office. He criticized decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and repeal Obamacare, but did not directly address Trump's equivocal comments about white supremacists in Virginia, even as others reacted with withering criticism.
Before all that, however, Obama wrote that he was willing to remain in touch.
"Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can," he wrote in his sign-off.
"Good luck and Godspeed."
This article has been republished from www.edition.cnn.com