In his first address to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority as Premier and Minister of Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie called on the neighbouring nations to pledge support in the fight against the various unfair financial services impositions by larger international countries.
The BVI Leader explained that the BVI is seeking sub-regional solidarity in standing-up to a new aggressive push from some members of the United Kingdom Parliament, which he said seems determined to issue edicts to its Overseas Territories in the region. This edict, Hon. Fahie announced is being issued without paying attention to the expressed will of the people, and ignoring values and customs which are deeply fashioned by both history, geography and faith.
While at the OECS meeting in Guadeloupe on 14 March Hon. Fahie noted that the BVI values its relations with the OECS – and the many areas of co-operation which the Territory has benefited from – especially in areas such as Education, Health, Disaster Management, and the Administration of Justice.
He further noted how the regional countries came to the BVI’s aid following the devastations of hurricanes Irma. The Premier said: “In moments of challenge, such as that experienced following the devastating hurricanes of September 2017, you came to our aid and have helped the BVI to restore our lives and economy.”
“Your people – the Caribbean people – mobilized themselves and shared what little they had with us – their fruits and provisions; their restoration workers – and even their coal pots. That is the level of solidarity that this Authority embodies,” Hon. Fahie added.
The BVI Leader told the Authority that this is not just about elected officials talking to elected officials, but it is about a movement of ordinary people. “We may have arrived here on different boats; but now we are in the same ship and in the face of new challenges, orchestrated onslaughts, we must be determined to move forward together – not on our knees – but on our feet,” he pointed out.
“Our struggles in this Caribbean basin have always been one and the same – and it manifests itself in the modern day through our shared interest in having to defend and protect our different financial services sectors from unfair and onerous demands from a few in the United Kingdom Parliament (in particular in our case); and the European Union in all of our cases,” Hon. Fahie added.