Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie will hold talks with the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), Hon. Albert Bryan Jr. and officials of his administration on Tortola tomorrow, February 4.
Premier Fahie said the Inter-Virgin Islands Council meeting is being convened to discuss matters of mutual interests. He said that it is imperative that officials of the two Territories meet as the policies and laws enacted by their respective Governments significantly impact the lives of the people of the Virgin Islands, on either side.
Initiatives up for discussion include: Coordination on pre-cautionary measures on the Corona Virus, Air traffic coordination, cruise ship/cruise line coordination, forming and organising tourism strategies, airport and seaport development, joint marketing and public relations initiatives between USVI and BVI, fishing matters, inter-territorial cooperation between BVI-USVI charter yacht companies and boarder security.
“It is important that we coordinate our policies because we are two distinctly different territories, under different Governance systems with one people, sharing the same waters,” Premier Fahie said in a government press release.
“As Virgin Islanders, we are innovators and have the ability to work together in unison to find solutions and innovative strategies to protect our boarders, and market our tourism industries,” Premier Fahie added.
According to government, the Inter Virgin Islands Council is the formal side of the BVI-USVI relationship and brings together the Premier of the BVI and the Governor of the USVI as Co-chairs of the council. Government officials and policymakers and their counterparts will explore different ways to work together to find solutions to various problems, and introduce initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for the people of the two territories.
The Premier further stated that his Government’s commitment to hold these talks reaffirms its commitment to strengthening regional and international relations, as well as maintaining its close ties with the USVI.
The Inter-Virgin Islands Council was established on Saturday, 29 May, 2004, after former USVI Governor, Dr. Charles Turnbull and Chief Minister, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding. The council’s first meeting convened on St. Croix in April 2005. This is the council’s first meeting since both territories were damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.
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