On Friday, October 16, 2020, St. Vincent and the Grenadines became the first CARICOM country to establish a Consulate Office in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
In a virtual ceremony, Bishop Ishmael Charles, a Vincentian who has been living in the BVI for over 40 years, was appointed Honorary Consul to St. Vincent in the British Virgin Islands.
Speaking at the ceremony, Hon. Sir. Louis Straker, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce in St. Vincent and the Grenadines noted that this new venture opens a new avenue for “an active trading relationship with the British Virgin Islands.” Minister Straker also highlighted that the relationship will further create linkages in education, tourism and culture where training and exchange programs can be made a reality, creating mutual benefits for both countries.
These sentiments were further reiterated by the Premier and Minister of Finance in the British Virgin Islands, Hon. Andrew Fahie. In his address Premier Fahie noted that the establishment of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Consulate Office will “deepen the level of cooperation between the Governments by collaborating to develop opportunities for trade, in areas such as agriculture, manufacturing of goods and services;” a partnership which will help the economies of both countries. He further noted that “the formalisation of this relationship is only the first step in paving the way and creating the architecture for intra-regional trade.”
Bishop Ishmael Charles in his address stated that he is honored to serve the more than 2000 Vincentians currently living in the BVI in the capacity of Honorary Consul for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to work diligently to strengthen the relations between both Countries.
Bishop Charles presented his credentials to Premier Fahie on October 14, 2020.