Thursday, April 22, 2010

BVI Delegation Discussed OCT-EU Relationships

During the recently held OCTA's Ministerial Conference and the 2009 OCT - European Union (EU) Forum held in Brussels, Belgium, the British Virgin Islands and other Overseas Countries and Territories have committed to build closer relationships with the EU.

The BVI delegation was headed by the director of the BVI London Office Mr. Kedrick Malone and consisted of five members, including Assistant Secretaries in the Premier's Office Mrs. Elvia Smith-Maduro and Ms. Najan Christopher, Director of Trade and Consumer Affairs Ms. Lizette George and Political/Public Affairs Officer in the London Office Ms. Averil Henry.

In the speech titled "Future of OCT-EU Relations - Enhancing Competitiveness", Mr. Malone told conference delegates that OCTs agree to the Commission's assessments of the "need to analyse, promote and implement key drivers to global competitiveness which include education of our nations, political stability, a robust information technology structure, and strategies to build on our islands natural assets." He also welcomed the EU's recognition that the British Virgin Islands meets international standards of tax transparency and co-operation, but called for wider international recognition for standards that are already functioning in the BVI and in other OCTs, especially as regards financial services.

The Director of the BVI London Office signed, on behalf of Premier Hon. Ralph T. O´Neal, two important documents from the conference: a political declaration, which confirmed the intention of OCTA countries to build mutually beneficial and comprehensive partnership with the EU, and an administrative resolution which served to outline the mandate of the OCTA Bureau for which the BVI was elected as one of eight members of the executive committee of OCTA.

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