Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley is presently away on business in Nassau, Bahamas, attending the first ‘Regional Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean’.

The Premier’s Office confirmed the news in a media release this morning, stating that the inaugural event is in preparation for COP 27 in November, to allow for the region to collectively devise a position on climate change mitigation.

Premier Wheatley will join other government heads from Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos.

The meeting which commenced today will conclude tomorrow August 17.

The Premier’s Office also revealed that following the meeting in the Bahamas, Premier Wheatley will then travel to Trinidad and Tobago to attend the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo II from August 19 to 21.

“The initiative is a platform established to stimulate conversations among key stakeholders and to revolutionize the agricultural sector in Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension across CARICOM Member States,” the Premier’s Office stated.

During these two periods, the Deputy Premier Honourable Kye Rymer will be the Acting Premier and Minister of Finance until Dr. Wheatley returns on August 22.

Rymer’s appointment is in accordance with Section 55 (1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 which states, “If the Premier is expected to be absent from the Virgin Islands for more than forty-eight hours, the Governor shall authorise the Deputy Premier to perform the functions of the office of Premier; and the Governor shall revoke this authority on the return to the Virgin Islands of the Premier.”