Friday, June 01, 2007

Financial Conference Held in BVI by OCTA

The Overseas Countries and Territories Association financial services conference took place on May 21-22 in the British Virgin Islands. It was described by BVI Chief Minister Dr Orlando Smith as a tangible demonstration of the benefits OCTA members could gain from working together. The conference received financial support from the European Commission.

Opening ceremony took place at Long Bay Hotel, first remarks were delivered by BVI Governor David Pearey, Chief Minister Orlando Smith and president of OCTA Clive Stanbrook. Orlando Smith stated that co-operation is the main idea for the conference, and added some information about the benefits to be gained from the conference. The main advantage was defined by him as helping the Overseas Countries and Territories to analyse both the opportunities and threats that can arise in the developing global economy.

Governor David Pearey in his speech specifically emphasized the achievements made by the British Virgin Islands during the last 25 years of its involvement in offshore industry, and its development in one of the most regarded OFCs. Clive Stanbrook credited the BVI for its initiatives in developing the local financial services sector.

The presenters were drawn from the International Monetary Fund, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the Netherlands Central Bank, the University of Sydney, the Bank of England, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the BVI Financial Services Commission and others. They represented such jurisdictions as Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, French Polynesia, Greenland, the Isle of Man, Montserrat, the Netherlands Antilles and the Turks and Caicos Islands among other OCTA members.

Making statements before the conference, Chief Minister Orlando Smith named the main issues to be covered, including the role and impact of International Finance Centers in the global economy, IFCs as an ongoing development tool, the role of the private sector and the role of supranational organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Financial Action Task Force.

About 50 delegates on the financial services conference represented regional and international agencies. The BVI International Affairs Secretariat director Lorna Smith said "As a mature financial services jurisdiction, it is very important for the BVI to host this conference and continue the dialogue about the importance of the financial services, transparency and sound regulations."

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