Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley is leading a delegation to London this week to meet with United Kingdom ministers and other officials.
The delegation, which left Saturday and is scheduled to return Sunday, will focus on advancing the territory’s economic, political and environmental interests, Dr. Wheatley said before he left.
“On the agenda are financial services, investment and environmental partnerships,” he said during a Jan. 6 press conference, adding, “I will also meet with our students and citizens in the United Kingdom to hear their concerns and ideas.”
The visit is the premier’s first official opportunity to meet UK Overseas Territories Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith, who was appointed to the post in November after Rishi Sunak succeeded Liz Truss as prime minister the previous month.
Dr. Wheatley was also planning to meet with the BVI All Party Parliamentary Group and other UK parliamentarians who have an interest in the Virgin Islands, he said before leaving.
“The occasion of my visit will also be an opportunity to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BVI London Office that was the successful vision of ” late former Premier Ralph O’Neal, he added. Dr. Wheatley promised to update the public on the outcome of the visit on his return.
Members of the delegation include Financial Secretary Jeremiah Frett; Premier’s Office Permanent Secretary Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe; Assistant Secretary for External Affairs in the International Affairs Secretariat Dwynel Davies; and other officials from the BVI International Tax Authority, BVI Finance and the Financial Services Commission, according to government.
Deputy Premier Kye Rymer is acting as premier in Dr. Wheatley’s absence in accordance with Section 55 of the Constitution.