Friday, October 26, 2012

New UK Minister’s First Official Visit to the BVI

Mark Simmonds, the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, who was appointed at his post in September 2012, has chosen the British Virgin Islands as the place for his first visit. During his visit on October 22-24, he had joint press conference with BVI Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith and Governor Boyd McCleary, where he talked about some aspects of the UK Government’s views about the Virgin Islands.

Mr. Mark Simmonds stated that during meetings with the BVI Premier and his colleagues he discussed such matters as good governance, financial management and economic planning in keeping with the White Paper issued by the British Government. He said: "I have had some extremely good discussions with the Premier and his Ministers and others in my short time here in the BVI. I have been impressed by the progress that is being made in responsible and prudent financial management in the fact that the Financial Management Act has been passed and the procurement processes are now in tune with international standards and that is a sign of a very progressive and determined Government."

Mr. Simmonds also had a private conversation with the Opposition Leader Hon. Ralph T. O´Neal. The Opposition continues to talk about the restrictive nature of the protocols, and about the need for their renegotiation. However, Mr. Simmonds considers the protocols are right, and should not be renegotiated.

After visiting the British Virgin Islands, the UK Minister departed for Anguilla.

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