Monday, September 28, 2009

New Appointments to BVI Boards

The Premier of the British Virgin Islands and Minister of Finance and Tourism Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE announced the appointment of five persons to three boards in the territory. On September 23, 2009, BVI Financial Secretary Neil Smith was appointed the Deputy Chairman of the Social Security Board. His appointment to this position is effective May 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010.

Mr. Anselmo Stevens and Mrs. Myrna Todman-Herbert were appointed to the Planning Authority. Their appointment is effective June 10, 2009, Mr. Stevens will serve for three years and Mrs. Myrna Todman-Herbert is appointed for a period of two years.

Also, Mr. Mike Rowe and Mr. Ajit George were appointed to the BVI Tourist Board, and will serve during four years effective June 15, 2009.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BVI Signs TIEAs with the Kingdom of Netherlands, the Netherland Antilles and Aruba

In the mid of September, the Premier and Minister of Finance of the British Virgin Islands, Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE , signed additional Tax Information Exchange Agreements with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Netherland Antilles and Aruba. After signing these TIEAs, the number of agreements signed by the BVI achieved 15.

The BVI and the Netherlands already have legislation providing for co-operation and the exchange of information in tax matters. The new TIEA between the British Virgin Islands and the Netherlands will allow the exchange of information by request on civil and criminal tax matters.

The Netherlands State Secretary for Finance welcomed the signing of the Agreement. Both jurisdictions expressed common intention to pursue other areas of mutual co-operation to further develop their relations. The Kingdom of the Netherlands also further recognised the BVI Government's reputation as a constructive and co-operative member of the international community.

The 12 TIEAs standard set, that was required by the OECD, for the British Virgin Islands consisted of
the United States of America,
the United Kingdom,
Australia,
New Zealand,
France
and the Nordic Alliance including
Sweden,
Norway,
Finland,
Denmark,
Iceland,
The Faroes and
Greenland.


Premier O'Neal stated in his comments that the BVI is close to signing further TIEAs with other OECD countries with which they have not signed the agreements yet.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

BVI FSC Issues Advisory Warnings on Financial Services Business Companies

On September 8 2009, the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission issued two Advisory Warnings concerning the following companies:

Exto Capital S.A.;
Sky Way Monetary Limited;
and Gulf International Investment Group Limited (GIIG 1982).

According to the documents published under Section 4 (1) (l) of the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001, these companies are not licensed to carry on financial services business in or from within the territory of the British Virgin Islands. The Commission advised members of the public to exercise extreme caution in conducting any transactions with these companies.

Members of the public are advised to exercise extreme caution in conducting any transactions with Exto Capital S.A.

The documents are signed by CEO of the BVI FSC Robert A. Mathavious.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Director of BVI European Office Returns to Conyers Dill & Pearman

Practicing lawyer Dawn Smith, which was appointed as the Director of the BVI London Office, has returned to the British Virgin Islands to rejoin the offshore law firm of Conyers Dill & Pearman. Before her appointment in August 2006, she was engaged in Conyers Dill as an associate attorney specialising in advising clients on the issues of commercial litigation and corporate law.

Dawn Smith graduated from Middlebury College, also she holds an LLB from the University of the West Indies in Barbados, a Certificate of Legal Education from Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. She has the experience of work in various committees within the financial services industry.

In the post of Director of the BVI London Office, Smith served as the official representative of the British Virgin Islands in the UK and the whole European community, supporting the interests of the jurisdiction with various government agencies, departments, parliament and in diplomatic circles. In co-operation with the BVI International Finance Centre and Financial Services Commission, Dawn Smith worked on promotion of the jurisdiction's financial services industry.

According to press release issued by the Conyers Dill & Pearman, Dawn Smith was included into its BVI Litigation practice, along with Tameka Davis who specialises in commercial and corporate litigation and earlier worked with Anguilla law firm. Mark Forté, Head of Litigation in Conyers’ BVI office, in his comments on the new hires, noted that they have doubled their litigation team in BVI in the past months, and the return of Dawn Smith to the BVI legal community will add to the BVI high reputation in dispute resolutions.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Orlando Smith Speaks on Government's Achievements

The Leader of the Opposition Dr. Orlando Smith, in his interview on the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) mid term in office and their achievements, stated that one of the major branches of economy of the BVI territory, tourism, is neglected to some extent.

By words of Orlando Smith, the administration of Hon. Premier Ralph O’Neal is not putting enough emphasis on tourism, even taking into account the global economic situation. Dr. Smith stated that the government has not done enough for tourism industry, and the financing of the promotion of the BVI territory was not sufficient.

The Leader of the Opposition also talked about the development of financial services industry, which is as important for BVI as tourism, and which is becoming more challenging with the implementation of new international rules. He named some major achievements of the BVI government in the past year, among them the signing of the Territory's 12th Tax Exchange Information Agreement; he highly appreciated it as a real achievement, and reminded efficient work of the previous administration in establishing an International Affairs Secretariat.

Other successful accomplishments of the Government, in the opinion of the Opposition, were the successful hosting of the 49th Meeting of the OECS Authority, and the construction of the Commercial Court. However, Dr. Smith noted some troubles existing in the British Virgin Islands.

The administration of the Virgin Islands Party was elected exactly two years ago, in August 2007, and now Hon. Ralph O'Neal is to deliver a full speech highlighting Government's achievements. Further comments of the opposition are expected after it.