Press Release

Premier's Office
Ministry of Finance
Release Date:
Tuesday, 7 July 2015 - 3:30pm

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, will discuss the role of the Caribbean in the economic development of the Americas when he addresses the International Economic Forum of the Americas Toronto Global Forum in Toronto, Canada on Thursday, July 9.

The global forum is being held under the theme “Creating Opportunities in a Connected World” and will attract over 2000 participants and 80 speakers.

As the distinguished speaker during the forum, Premier Smith will be among three ministerial panelists discussing the Caribbean’s role in the economic development of the Americas, in light of the deepening relations between the United States of America and Cuba.

The session will also explore how the Caribbean can promote an integrated agenda to encompass prospects that will shape its future and its political economy.

The Honourable Premier will engage in a number of bilateral meetings to discuss matters of mutual interest including central registries, economic development, air transport development, and tax transparency.

The Premier will meet with the Premier of Bermuda and Member of Parliament, Honourable Michael H. Dunkley; Secretary for Economic Development in Puerto Rico, Mr. Alberto Bacó Bagué; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ineco, Mr. Jesús Silva Fernández; and Deputy Secretary-General for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Mr. William C. Danvers.

Premier Smith is accompanied by Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith, and Chairman of the BVI Tourist Board, Mr. Russell Harrigan. He will return to the Territory on July 11.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering will act as Premier until July 12 when Premier Smith returns to the Territory. 

Honourable Pickering’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.


  1. The Toronto Global Forum is a non-profit organisation fostering dialogue on national and global issues. It is held under the auspices of the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA). IEFA organises annual summits bringing together heads of states, central bank governors, ministers and global economic decision makers. The Forum also offers exclusive opportunities for business meetings aimed at promoting partnerships among major Canadian and international corporations.
  1. Over the years, the Toronto Global Forum has increasingly developed into a strategic platform for business development. The International Economic Forum of the Americas works in close collaboration with international organisations such as OECD, IMF, World Bank, UNESCO, development banks as well as leading companies, universities, and national/local authorities.
  1. The Forum has grown to become a landmark organisation bringing together more than 5000 delegates and over 200 speakers combined under the auspices of three annual conferences: the Conference of Montreal, the Toronto Global Forum and the World Strategic Forum.