Sherri Ortiz, Executive Director of BVI’s International Finance Centre (IFC), predicts 2011 will be the year the country focuses on business develooment. The BVI IFC is the government’s marketing arm for the financial services sector.
There are ‘excellent prospects for increased business development’ in the year ahead, but given the changes throughout the global financial landscape, the BVI is ‘working to position ourselves sufficiently to address these challenges in the way that is needed,’ Ms. Ortiz said. ‘BVI is right in the centre of a bright future for financial services and the obstacles that must be overcome in order to reach it,’ she added.
In 2010, the territory passed laws to strengthen and protect its reputation, specifically the Finance and Money Services Act, the new Regulatory Code, and the Securities and Investment Business Act.
Ortiz further said, ‘In response to the demands for greater transparency in tax matters, the BVI has now signed a total of 19 Tax Information Exchange Agreements, comfortably meeting and well exceeding the international benchmark of 12. We have been listed on the OECD’s ‘white list’ of compliant jurisdictions since August of 2009, and will be signing our 20th TIEA with India next month in London. It is the Government’s intention to continue these steps to underscore our commitment to the international community, while protecting our reputation as a capable and innovative jurisdiction.’
BVI’s economy is based on both financial services and tourism, helping it to weather the last few years of worldwide recession. In 2011, the territory plans to facilitate access to capital, strengthen its global competitive position, and spread the message worldwide that it wants business. The IFC has planned conferences in Brazil, Argentina, the US, and Europe this year.
‘The liveliness of our business community and its constant willingness to adapt to new challenges, coupled with the IFC’s determination to spread the word about the BVI as far and as wide as possible, means we are well placed to compete with our rivals,’ explained Ortiz.