Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley has met with officials of the Caribbean Development Bank as the Government of the Virgin Islands moves to strengthen its relationship with the lending institution.
Premier Wheatley along with other senior officials from the Ministry of Finance, held bilaterial meetings with President Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon and his Senior Advisor Ms. Andrea Power earlier this week to discuss the areas in which the Virgin Islands can benefit from the bank’s current trajectory, as well as its future objectives.
The discussions were also aimed at enhancing the Virgin Islands’ strategic position and the potential economic development that can be harnessed through the bank’s offering of technical and financial support.
Premier Wheatley said, “I was happy to host the President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Leon, and to have the opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable support given to the Virgin Islands; not just in financing hurricane recovery projects, but with technical assistance in procurement policy, training, and other areas of development.”
The Premier added, “We are a proud member of the bank, and are excited by further sustained engagement in meeting our ambitious development goals which include the establishment of world-class infrastructure, supporting a food security ecosystem, creating climate and economic resilience, and investing in innovation and development.”
During the bilateral engagements, Dr. Leon shared the bank’s vision and reiterated its commitment to partnering with its Borrowing Member Countries, which is inclusive of the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands is one of the bank’s shareholders, and has continuously received financial and technical support in the development of its infrastructure.
Dr. Leon said, “The Caribbean Development Bank is pleased to directly engage the Government of the VI and strengthen our longstanding relationship. Our interactions and dialogue during this visit have created new pathways and opportunities for the Bank, and the VI to further reinforce the solid foundation both have enjoyed.”
Dr. Leon added that the CDB’s timely response to support redevelopment of the Territory subsequent to the 2017 hurricanes, through the issuance of loan and grant facilities to supplement the required funding gap, is evidence of the bank’s commitment to bolster Borrowing Member Countries.
Dr. Leon assumed the office of President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), in May of 2021, thereby becoming the sixth chief executive of the regional multilateral institution.
The bank officials also made courtesy calls on the Premier, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands, and officials from the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA).
The Ministry of Finance is committed to its mandate which involves coordinating sustainable national development, enhancing financial and economic resources, and strengthening bilateral relationships with its partners.