GVI to Foster CARICOM Partnership, New Visa Waiver Program

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – At the weekly Government House briefing on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, Government House Communications Director Richard Motta announced an exciting opportunity that Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has accepted for the Government of the U.S.Virgin Islands to work closely with CARICOM. Additionally, a new visa waiver program is being developed to supplement workforce shortages in the Territory.

Motta highlighted the two initiatives while providing a summary of meetings Gov. Bryan recently attended in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Bryan attended the annual meeting of the Department of Interior’s Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) and the winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA).  He also met with State Department officials to advance plans addressing key priorities, including a special visa waiver program to tackle workforce shortages in the Territory to meet recovery-related workforce demands, Motta said.  

The new relationship with CARICOM is in its formative stages, with the Office of the Governor actively organizing discussions to establish a solid foundation for this partnership through detailed policies, procedures, and protocols. 

The Territory is committed to fostering a strong partnership with CARICOM and the USVI is ready to contribute to and benefit from the collective goals of the community — investing in crucial economic sectors like agriculture, tourism, and technology, enhancing intraregional trade, combating climate change, creating more job opportunities region-wide, improving disaster recovery capabilities, and addressing pressing issues such as crime, poverty, and emerging public health challenges.

On behalf of Gov. Bryan, Motta offered condolences to the family, friends and listeners of St. Croix businessman and popular talk radio host, Hugh “Mr. P.” Pemberton who passed away Saturday.

Wishing Virgin Islanders a happy VI History Month, Motta quoted Gov. Bryan as saying, “Our history is not just a story of the past; it’s a living, breathing legacy that continues to inspire us. We stand on the shoulders of giants, those who have paved the way for freedom, democracy, and equality. It’s upon us to carry forward this legacy, ensuring that our contributions continue to impact our nation and resonate around the world.”

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