Guyana, BVI Advance Discussions on Visa-Free Travel – Premier Dr Wheatley

(second from left): Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Dr Natalio Wheatley

Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Dr Natalio Wheatley has disclosed that talks have advanced to potentially sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Guyana and BVI for visa-free travel between the two countries.

He announced during an interview at the business session at the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday, at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.

As a result of the close relations between the two countries and the fact that Guyana’s economy has grown due to its oil reserves, there have been requests for the BVI to remove the restrictions on visas to Guyana.

“It only makes sense for us to form stronger economic ties with these nations, especially when you have a nation like Guyana which has so many natural resources, benefits, and advantages that we could benefit from as a territory. Just as how Guyanese nationals have been able to benefit from working from within the BVI economy,” he said.

While noting that he fully supports this endeavour, Dr Wheatley expressed that the obstacles posed by visas prevent countries from forging better economic ties.

“We are discussing a memorandum of understanding that hopefully we would want the BVI and Guyana to sign to speak about the type of relationship that we have…So, certainly, as a part of that MoU, we would see that matter being handled quite speedily,” Dr Wheatley highlighted.

Last July, a 16-member team from the BVI travelled to Guyana to advance talks on commerce, investment, and improved collaboration.

The visiting delegation comprised Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Lorna Smith, Permanent Secretary, Petrona Davies, Junior Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Trade, Dr Karl Dawson.

Dr Wheatley told DPI that he celebrates the move by the deputy premier who led the mission to Guyana which has so far reaped substantial benefits.

Over 1,000 Guyanese are residing in the BVI.

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