Monday, April 07, 2008

BVI Delegation Undertakes Acquaintance Visit to the Gulf Region

A delegation from the BVI FSC and territory's autonomous financial regulatory agency met Qatar Financial Centre Authority, QFC Regulatory Authority and Qatar Financial Centre to talk on BVI's regulations, private wealth management and corporate activities. During its visit to Doha in April 2 and 3, the British Virgin Islands delegation met with QFC director-general Stuart Pearce and a senior executive of QIA, and held a seminar on ‘Opportunities for Growth in Financial Services’ in BVI.

This was the first visit of a group from the BVI to the Gulf region, and the delegation was keen to catch the experience of Qatar's development as one of the leading financial centres in the Middle East, and to share its own experience of an established offshore financial centre.

The delegation was leaded by Robert Mathavious, managing director and CEO of BVI FSC, and by Lorna Smith, executive director of International Finance Centre; both of them expressed optimism concerning long-term relationship between the financial systems of Qatar and BVI. Lorna Smith said that since Qatar was home to many luxury yachts, their owners would have the opportunity to get their vessels registered in BVI, after the jurisdiction will receive the Category 1 status for shipping. Smith also said that high net worth individuals in Qatar could seek BVI's expertise in wealth management and tax planning among other portfolios. In her words, BVI is also the fourth largest domicile for captive insurance, and there are a number of opportunities for tax management.

Robert Mathavious also welcomed the recent ranking of the BVI on the 27th place in the list of London's Global Financial Centres Index. It was also placed among the world's “most stable” financial centres.

As part of a fact-finding mission to the Gulf, a delegation of Government and private sector officials from the BVI visited Dubai on March 30 – April 1, the BVI Seminar was held on 31 March 2008 at the Burj Al Arab. The focus of discussion was corporate and investment business and trusts and estate planning.

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