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Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley has stated that the past week of meetings and engagements in the United Kingdom were successful in the advancement of the economic, political and environmental interests of the Territory.
Premier Wheatley led a delegation to London, United Kingdom to promote the socio-economic and political interests of the Virgin Islands between January 14 and 22.
During his official visit, the Premier and his delegation engaged in bilateral political meetings with Overseas Territories Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith which he said generated productive and constructive results.
“I very much appreciated his great interest in the sustainable development of the BVI. He was very keen on tapping UK support to assist the BVI’s efforts to both conserve and sustainably use the marine environment. He also pledged to provide as much UK technical assistance as possible to assist us with continuing the work of reform,” Premier Wheatley reported.
Lord Goldsmith is scheduled to travel to the Virgin Islands in a few weeks to further discuss the Order in Council, which is currently held in reserve.
Premier Wheatley also stated that progress in relation to the use of medicinal cannabis was achieved through positive discussions with United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and United Kingdom Home. These discussions specifically underscored the licencing of medical practitioners in the Virgin Islands to administer medicinal cannabis to patients.
Consultations were not only held with members the ruling Conservative Party, but with other parliamentarians, including Shadow Overseas Territories Labour Minister Mr. Stephen Doughty, who committed to promoting the economic, political and environmental priorities in upcoming debates in the House of Commons.
The delegation included Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt Igwe, Financial Secretary Mr. Jeremiah Frett, Managing Director of BVI Financial Services Commission Mr. Kenneth Baker, Executive Director of BVI Finance Ms. Elise Donovan, Director of the International Tax Authority Ms. La Toya James, Assistant Secretary for External Affairs Ms. Dwynel Davies, Special Envoy of the Premier Mr. Benito Wheatley, Director of the BVI London Office Ms. Tracy Bradshaw, Deputy Director of the BVI London Office Ms. Siobhan Flax, and Director of Policy and Research at BVI FSC Mr. Cherno Jallow.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains resolute in the promotion of the overall development of the Territory, through deepening and strengthening its relationship with the United Kingdom.