While the territory braces for the G20 that could reshape the way Virgin Islands residents do business, government officials are ‘preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.’ The public and private sectors have been holding meetings over the last few weeks, while the United Kingdom’s Michael Foot has been reviewing the VI’s financial regulatory practices in preparation for the Group of 20 meeting in London on April 2.
Premier Ralph O’Neal has publicly stated that this territory has always been compliant when asked to disseminate information and maintain regulatory standards – the two main areas of offshore concern expected to be addressed at the G-20 summit. But even though the premier and other leaders here have spoken optimistically, potential devastation to the financial services sector is very possible.
Since the early 1980s, the VI has attracted businesses from around the world – including the US and the UK – because of a lack of taxation and confidentiality policies. The territory has since built the sector into its strongest economic pillar, accounting for an estimated 50-60 percent of the territory’s revenue.
For an in-depth reporting of the situation, read the BVIBeacon.