Log In

Reset Password

Bermuda receives approval for Middle East representation

Important development: David Burt, the Premier, says Bermuda can realise significant opportunities through closer links with the Middle East (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Approval has been given by Britain for Bermuda to have formal representation in the Middle East, it was announced. Financial services, trade, tourism and sport are included under the arrangement.

A spokeswoman said: “Today, Government House and the Cabinet Office confirmed UK Government approval for the Government of Bermuda to advance the development of links between Bermuda and the Middle East region.

“Minister for Americas and the Caribbean, David Rutley MP, has confirmed that Bermuda’s Middle East adviser is authorised by the UK Government to promote contacts between the Government of Bermuda and regional governments in the Middle East.

“These links will include the areas of financial services, trade and investment, tourism, and in culture, sport and education.”

David Burt, the Premier, announced earlier that the UK Government was asked, through Government House, to approve the appointment of a representative to the Gulf region “under the terms of the existing entrustment, which regulates the Government of Bermuda’s conduct of activities in foreign countries”.

He said: “Bermuda can realise significant opportunities through closer links with the Middle East and it is an important development to see this effort supported by the UK Government, and I wish to thank Her Excellency the Governor and the Minister of State for providing timely consideration of the Government’s request.”

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, highlighted: “In addition to the approval of the Government of Bermuda’s request for this appointment and the related activities, it should be further noted that through the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi and other UK missions in the Middle East, the UK Government stands ready to help and support the Government of Bermuda as these links are developed within the region.”

Mr Burt made public in May the appointment of Alexia Hefti as a Middle East adviser, earning $20,000 a month on a one-year contract.

He said later she was hired by the Government to “realise the full scope of opportunities presented by this exciting region”.

The Premier said Bermuda needed to develop awareness in the Gulf area, “which has a proven track record of development success”.

He added: “To realise the full scope of opportunities presented by this exciting region, Bermuda must advance in a strategic and targeted way, building relationships with a region that values the very business environment that has made us a successful and trusted jurisdiction for investment and trade globally.”

In an article published by The Royal Gazette in July, Mr Burt said it was a “prudent first step” to appoint an adviser related to the Gulf Co-operation Council countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — “pending the approval from the UK Government for a representative of the Government of Bermuda”.

Cole Simons, then the Leader of the Opposition, earlier asked about the appointment of Ms Hefti.

He said: “We have gathered that Ms Hefti will be Bermuda’s registered representative in the UAE and her role will be similar to the responsibility held by Kimberley Durrant, our well-qualified and experienced Bermudian-registered representative to the UK, and Aliyyah Ahad in Brussels, Belgium, for the EU.

“Additionally, we have learnt that the Premier consulted with the Governor and the British Government before Ms Hefti’s appointment last month and that the post still needs approval from Whitehall.

“What is going on here? How can the Premier agree to this appointment, before the appropriate and final approvals were granted by the Governor and the United Kingdom?”

A Bermuda government spokeswoman said later that approval was not needed from Britain for advisers, such as Ms Hefti; rather, it was required for representatives.

The Governor has constitutional responsibility for Bermuda’s external relations on behalf of the Crown.

To establish representation in other countries, a letter of entrustment is usually required.

Such a document is typically issued from the British Government to the Governor, so that the office-holder can delegate certain responsibilities to the Government of Bermuda.

Entrustments usually set out specific conditions or restrictions.

The Gazette asked the Government if this afternoon’s announcement was confirmation that Ms Hefti will be Bermuda’s overseas representative, authorised to promote contacts between the Bermuda Government and governments in the Middle East.

A spokeswoman was also asked if the arrangement was an entrustment, and if so, what specific conditions or restrictions were outlined.

She confirmed that a “revised entrustment” was in place.

Aside from that, she directed the Gazette to the announcement or to Government House for any additional queries. Government House has been contacted for information.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 29, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated August 29, 2023 at 8:23 am)

Bermuda receives approval for Middle East representation

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon