Billionaire Sir Richard Branson who owns two of the outer islands in the territory said he has held talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on behalf of the British Virgin Islands.
Branson made the disclosure in a letter to the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA), which he called on for ideas to help fast-track hurricane recovery efforts in the territory.
The billionaire said he has received the go-ahead from local government to then put these ideas into effect.
“I committed to Governor Jaspert and Premier Smith that I would consult business owners in all relevant sectors to gather your feedback, ideas, and requests and compile these in a report for their consideration.”
“I am also working to set up a small team in the BVI to support this project to help implement some of these ideas,” said Branson in a letter dated yesterday.
In the said letter for which BVI News received a copy, Branson also stated that he has had talks with other stakeholders besides the IMF.
He said: “Over the last month I have met with Governor Jaspert, Premier Smith, Dr Pickering, Caribbean Heads of State, representatives from Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. During these meetings I have heard some fantastic ideas,” Branson said.
Branson did not give further detail on the meeting with the formidable moneylenders, IMF.
Meanwhile, news of Branson’s talks with the IMF in relation to hurricane recovery comes weeks after Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said he has not ruled out the possibility of striking a deal with the IMF to help fund rebuilding.
The Premier’s statement sparked public discussion on whether the BVI should do business with the international money lender.
The IMF is known for its strict loan conditions and, among other things, dictating how borrowing countries govern their respective nations while the loan is being repaid.
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