Press Release

Premier's Office
Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade
Release Date:
Saturday, 24 February 2024 - 12:34pm

Premier of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Dr. Natalio Wheatley will be attending 46th regular meeting of the conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from February 24 to 29, 2024. 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 over three decades. 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 recent 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 and Deputy Director of the International Affairs Secretariat Ms. Dwynel Davis. The actual meeting activities take place from February 25 to 28, 2024.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Meeting is an annual summit takes place twice a year where leaders from the CARICOM member states gather to discuss regional issues, make decisions, and set policies for the Caribbean region. The meeting will be held under the Chairmanship of President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

CARICOM is made of 15 states and five Associated States. The Virgin Islands is an Associate State.         

Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Honourable Lorna G. Smith, OBE, has been appointed to act as Premier and Minister of Finance from February to 24 to 29, 2024 while Premier Wheatley is away from the Virgin Islands. The Premier is scheduled to return to the Territory on February 29, 2024.

Honourable 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.”






Sonjé Greenidge

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2742