Friday, April 21, 2006

BVI new Governor’s speech at his swearing

It was interesting to hear what the new BVI Governor David Pearey said regarding the future of the offshore business in the British Virgin Islands at his Swearing on Tuesday, April 18, 2006.

In particular the new BVI governor said the following:
"In the seven years since the White Paper on the Overseas Territories - Partnership for Progress and Prosperity - was published, much has been achieved not least in the territories themselves. The progress made in the BVI is a shining example of this. But some things have not of course changed. Amongst these is the need to ensure that the territories continue to be stable places, secure internally and externally, where the rule of law is paramount and where governments govern honestly and in the best interests of the people."

It’s nice to hear that the new BVI Governor who has just arrived from the United Kingdom emphasized the achievements of the BVI. But the list of what has not been done seems a little bit alerting. However, the last phrase may be interpreted as related to the fact that the new BVI Governor just wanted to emphasize that he is not going to fold his arms. Just contrary – there is a full list of things that are a subject to improvement, no matter how they are arranged now.

The new BVI Governor continued:
"The attainment of these aims becomes ever more challenging in a globalised world and as the economies of the territories (not least the BVI) become more sophisticated and complex. My own responsibilities, as currently defined, place a heavy emphasis on this area. I am in particular required to help ensure that in the BVI we meet our international obligations, that Britain is protected against contingent liabilities, and that good government is maintained. These are of course all moving targets. Success demands constant attention and vigilance. In the area of international obligations your financial services sector, like all others, has to comply with international demands for transparency if the international community is to defeat the triple scourges of money laundering, terrorism and drug trafficking. But, as it happens, legitimate business demands precisely the same. So compliance does not just match international concerns, but also makes sound business sense. Keeping up with evolving international expectations is never easy, but is for very good reasons essential."

It seems that the heading for fighting offshore business by the British Virgin Islands related to money laundering, terrorism and drug trafficking will stay the same. It should keep this offshore jurisdiction as attractive for legal offshore business as it is now.

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