Premier Andrew Fahie has said the government is very likely to accept the United Kingdom’s £300 million loan guarantee offer since the recent talks between the BVI and the UK were a “resounding success”.
“The discussions were cordial, productive and conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect. All parties were able to arrive at common ground,” Premier Fahie said during a press conference on Wednesday.
He continued: “Your government achieved the primary objectives of this trip. It would be correct to say that we are on our way to signing on to the UK loan guarantee. And while we are going, we making sure that the language is correct so that when we get there, we can know if we are signing on. But we on our way.”
Fruits of their talks
The Premier confirmed statements made by Governor Augustus Jaspert weeks ago that the UK is willing to facilitate the BVI if the territory accepts the UK’s offer and potentially breaches the BVI-UK Protocols for Effective Financial Management agreement which states that the territory cannot borrow more than 80 percent of its recurring revenue.
“The UK Government stated that it is prepared to work with BVI government on coming back into compliance with the debt ratio if borrowing on the loan guarantee would cause the BVI to exceed the ratios,” Fahie said.
Notably, the Premier said the BVI delegation was able to successfully advocate for the Financial Secretary to access the Recovery & Development Act Trust Fund.
“The UK Government has agreed to consider this condition and the BVI government has been asked to submit some additional information with respect to this issue,” Fahie said.
He added: “Your BVI government has been saying that not all funds received or funds allocated for all projects must be put into the Recovery and Development Agency Trust Fund.”
BVI can now seek outside $
A third reported win for the BVI is in relation to sourcing other funds for investment and recovery outside of the loan guarantee.
“The UK Government agreed to consider the direct administration by the BVI Government of other sources of funds for investment in the recovery besides those borrowed on the loan guarantee to support rebuilding,” Fahie said.
Following talks between the BVI and the UK, government has been asked to prepare an action plan on the way forward, which they must present to the UK by September 27.”
A special steering committee will now be created to “to enable more direct communication between the Virgin Islands Government and Her Majesty’s Treasury”, Fahie said.
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