Press Release
3 November 2016 - 5:00pm

Marking the 5th anniversary of the unique partnership between the British Virgin Islands and Hertfordshire, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, visited Hertfordshire today.

Premier Smith met with the Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council, Mrs. Frances Button to discuss how best to strengthen and deepen this very important relationship for both.

Particular areas of focus so far have been social development and education. The BVI and Hertfordshire regularly exchange information relating to common issues such as public health. In July 2013, senior health leaders from the territory spent two days in Hertfordshire learning about local solutions along with important public service challenges such as supporting carers. There have also been exchanges aimed at developing school leaders, vocational training, and inclusive education for children with disabilities.

During his visit the Premier, a qualified surgeon, was given a tour of Lister Hospital in Stevenage where he met with the hospital’s leadership team to discuss how it had worked with the Council to improve delivery of care to patients in the local area.

Premier Smith said, “Even though BVI and Hertfordshire couldn’t be more different, our partnership with Hertfordshire County Council has had a very successful start and we have built a deeper and enduring bond between our islands and Hertfordshire. We are very thankful to the council for welcoming our athletes ahead of the 2012 London Olympics and have since continued to relish our partnership.  We are particularly proud of our cooperation in education, which has included young professionals and students from Hertfordshire interning at BVI House in London to learn about international affairs.”

“We look forward to seeing our relationship develop further and focusing on new areas of cooperation in the coming years, including supporting small businesses and developing cooperation on higher education, he added.

Premier further expressed, “Our thanks go to Chairman Button for hosting us and we look forward to further fruitful discussions with the Council in the future.”

Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council, Frances Button said, "The agreement with the British Virgin Islands has given us an opportunity to share best practice, skills and business contacts. We are delighted that our friends from the BVI could join us to mark five years of the partnership.”

The BVI and Hertfordshire County Council formed a special bond leading up to the 2012 London Olympics when Hertfordshire welcomed BVI athletes to train at their facilities.

BVI and Hertfordshire united by truly living the Olympic Spirit, forming valuable partnerships and championing sports across the world. Signed in 2011, the Twinning Partnership programme aims to go beyond sport and further continue to develop relationships, to share skills and contacts in the public and private sector and to create mutual opportunities for Hertfordshire and BVI. 

Author

Ms. Natalie Hodge

Deputy Chief Information Officer
Telephone:  468-3701 ext. 2731 (desk)
Email:            nathodge@gov.vg

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