By Editor-July 3rd, 2023.
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. Natalio Wheatley will be attending 45th regular meeting of the conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from July 3 to 5, the Government of the British Virgin Islands has announced.
The meeting will be held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, in Trinidad and Tobago at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of_Spain.
The opening ceremony can be seen here.
The Premier’s attendance at these official meetings is in an effort to advance intraregional trade and policy coordination, towards safeguarding the overall socio-economic and political interests of the Virgin Islands.
Premier Wheatley stated, “The Virgin Islands has been an Associate Member of CARICOM for 32 years. Our Associate Membership is one of the primary means by which we engage in regional cooperation that benefits the Territory in a variety of ways, including the strong political support we have received over the past two years.”
The Premier added, “It is highly appropriate that the Virgin Islands is present to demonstrate our solidarity with our neighbours, and find solutions to problems such as regional transportation and food security that affect the region.”
Premier Wheatley will be accompanied by his Special Envoy Mr. Benito Wheatley, Deputy Director of the International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Dwynel Davis, and Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, Ms. Xyrah Wheatley.
CARICOM is made of fifteen (15) states and five (5) Associated States. The Virgin Islands is an Associate State.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Lorna G. Smith has been appointed to act as stand-in Premier and Minister of Finance from July 2 to July 6 while Premier Wheatley is away from the Virgin Islands. The Premier is scheduled to return to the Territory on July 6.
Smith’s appointment is in accordance with Section 55 (1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 which states, “If the Premier is expected to be absent from the Virgin Islands for more than forty-eight hours, the Governor shall authorise the Deputy Premier to perform the functions of the office of Premier; and the Governor shall revoke this authority on the return to the Virgin Islands of the Premier.”
Source: BVI Press Release.