Monday, February 11, 2013

BVI Premier Speaks on the Development of Financial Services Industry

The Premier and Minister for Finance of the British Virgin Islands Orlando Smith had discussed the future of the BVI as a financial centre with business leaders. He said that the BVI government has the aim to strengthen the position of the territory as a leading offshore financial centre that adheres to international standards, and to set the BVI apart from its competitors by developing innovative new offerings.

The Premier and Minister for Finance noted that the BVI, which once had unique position in the world of financial services, now has a community of competitors in this niche, as well as in tourism sector. He said that the territory must “rise to the challenges of keeping the twin pillars of economy not only sturdy but resilient.” By words of the Premier, the BVI should review its business models, and to improve or increase the products offered, because what once was an “extraordinary idea,” has now become “the new normal.”

Orlando Smith pointed to changing international standards on tax transparency and information exchange. He stressed that the BVI government must increase its efforts to inform the international community on all the steps taken by the jurisdiction to adopt leading international standards and improve co-operation with tax authorities of other countries. Also, he said that particularly close attention should be focused on the “correctly themed marketing of our tourism and financial services products, and currently efforts are fully underway to rebrand the BVI product."

To boost the ties of the BVI territory with emerging markets, particularly Asian, the BVI government plans to establish a representative office in Hong Kong.

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