Monday, June 24, 2013

BVI Premier Confirms Support of G8 Tax Decisions

Last week, Premier and Minister of Finance of the British Virgin Islands Orlando Smith returned from London and gave his comments on G8 Tax Statement, confirming his support of the UK government’s global agenda on tax, transparency and trade, and his agreement to take an active part in the new initiative of multilateral automatic tax information exchange agreed upon by the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The BVI Premier also confirmed the plans to prepare national actions to meet the FATF standards on beneficial ownership, and to join the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance on Tax Matters.

Orlando Smith noted in his comments: “In the debate about tax and transparency the fact that the BVI already has stronger financial regulation for trust and corporate service providers, as well as rules regarding beneficial ownership than many countries in the G8 itself, has not been adequately appreciated… For many years we have implemented the highest international standards on transparency, accountability and information exchange on tax matters, as set out by the OECD. The BVI will continue to be a constructive partner in evolving and setting the highest standards of regulation.”

Monday, June 17, 2013

BVI Premier Takes Part in Pre-G8 Meetings with UK Prime Minister

Premier and Minister of Finance of the British Virgin Islands, Orlando Smith, has accepted the invitation to attend two meetings in London on June 15.

These meetings are hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron before the G8 meeting. During the first meeting, the BVI Premier is having an open consultation with the UK Prime Minister, together with leaders from all UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, while the second meeting is the discussion on the key issues of the G8 summit, including tax, trade and transparency, and involves a range of stakeholders, including representatives from Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

The BVI Premier said in a letter sent to David Cameron that the jurisdiction will in principle commit to joining the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance on Tax Matters - a multilateral agreement having the aim to promote international cooperation to combat tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

Speaking about the meeting, the BVI Premier Dr Orlando Smith welcomed the invitation from David Cameron for consultation, and expressed Government’s support for the G8 agenda on tax, trade and transparency and trust that the G8 members will see the value of, and accept the need for, establishing global standards."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

BVI Hosted Meeting of Task Force on Trade and Investment

On May 30-31, 2013, the seventh meeting of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Task Force on Trade and Investment was organized in the British Virgin Islands with participation of Caribbean Export Development Agency as chair of the CARIFORUM, and French Caribbean Outermost Region (FCOR). During these two days, the members of the task force were examining key developments that have taken place in 2010-2012 and have related to the CARIFORUM-EU relationship, including an update on the CARIFORUM-EU partnership strategy, deliberations in the CARIFORUM-EU EPA institutions and an update on EDF programming.

The EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Task Force on Trade and Investment is promoting dialogue on issues related to trade and investment, and assisting with the projects between CARIFORUM states and the French Caribbean region, which is part to the European Partnership Agreement through its political status with the French Republic.

At the opening of the Trade and Investment task force meeting, BVI Premier Dr Orlando Smith said: “Although BVI has only observer status in the organisation we are proud to be part of a forward moving process and congratulate the region for being able to move forward with the European Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union (EU).”

Thursday, June 06, 2013

BVI FSC Signs Agreement with the European Securities and Markets Authority

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has approved the co-operation agreement between the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission and EU securities regulators. The Memorandum of Understanding allows the BVI Mutual Fund Industry to market its products in the European Union and to EU investors. It provides for the supervision of alternative investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds.
Before signing the MOU with the ESMA, the Financial Services Commission had discussions with it concerning the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) Directive, the draft version of which was issued by the European Commission in 2009, and which is focused on creating a comprehensive regulatory and supervisory framework as well as common regulatory standards for all European AIFMs.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the BVI FSC and ESMA is to a large extent based on the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding. The Commission has been in negotiations with ESMA since April last year.
It is said in the press release published by the Commission that “the MOU between the FSC and EU securities regulators is further evidence that the FSC remains committed to fulfilling its international obligations relating to information exchange and combating illicit activity that may involve the use of regulated financial services structures. In addition, it demonstrates the recognition and importance of BVI funds in the global funds industry.”
Managing Director/CEO of the FSC Robert Mathavious said in his comments that “the Commission looks forward to working with ESMA and the EU countries ensuring that the BVI continues its commitment to meeting its international obligations and standards.”