A senior Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) delegation is travelling to Brussels to take part in the Ministerial Conference of the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) of the European Union (EU) this week 4-10 December 2013.
Acting governor, Anya Williams; TCI minister of finance, Washington Misick; permanent secretary finance, Athenee Harvey; and senior and project economist Kathleen Forbes and. Salace Richardson will take part in the session likely to be attended by the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the Overseas French Minister, Victorin Lurel. There will be high level representation from other EU member states at the events also.
As a UK Overseas Territory, access to the practical and financial support of the EU, is invaluable to the TCI:
• The Territory recently signed a three year agreement to receive $15m from EDF10 which the government will use to make sure that it works effectively with businesses to further boost the Islands’ economy
• TCI has also received $6m from the EU to rebuild 124 hurricane damaged homes on the islands of Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay
• It has previously received support for a range of environmental projects, including grants awarded to the TCI National Trust
During the course of the week the TCI delegation will: take part in trilateral meetings on the 10th EDF with the European Commission, the OCTs and their corresponding Member States (2-3 Dec); attend the OCTA’s Ministerial Conference (4 Dec); participate in the EU-OCTs Forum (5-6 Dec); benefit from a training workshop on EDF 11 (9-10 Dec).
“Developing strong international networks is vital to the future growth and prosperity of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” said Williams, who is also the Territory EU Authorising Officer.
“Our mission during the OCTA week of events is to establish stronger working relationships across the EU and to learn more about gaining access to and using the EDF 10 and 11 funds in ways that can benefit our people.”
During Williams’ absence, Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles will be sworn in as acting governor until Peter Beckingham’s return on 3 December 2013.