Press Release
4 February 2015 - 5:00pm

The Government of the Virgin Islands has taken further strides to improve its regional ties as Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE attends the 60th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority in Fort de France, Martinique.

Premier Smith is accompanied by Acting Deputy Director of the BVI International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Najan Christopher.

The meeting is especially memorable as the nine-member OECS body prepares to welcome Martinique, the first French territory to join as an Associate Member. The OECS was comprised of nine members for the last 30 years.

“As a fellow Associate Member of the OECS, we see this as a unique opportunity to reconnect with our Caribbean counterparts, particularly Martinique and to build a relationship with the French territory,” stated Premier Smith.

Topics to be discussed during this historic meeting include the Free Circulation of Goods, Trade and Integration and Information Communication Technology Competitiveness among others.

Premier Smith will be out of the Territory from Wednesday, February 4 to Friday February 6.

Deputy Premier, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering will also be away from the Territory during this time. As such, Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton will act as Premier.

Honourable Skelton’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.”

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