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BVI Touts Financial Services Offerings In Hong Kong

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
12 September, 2014

At two events on September 11, 2014, in Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands' Premier and Minister of Finance, Orlando Smith spoke on the future for offshore financial centers in an address themed "Riding the Perfect Storm: Will Offshore and Midshore Jurisdictions Remain Viable?"

In a visit to build upon the launch of BVI House Asia, the territory's representative office set up in September 2013, he told attendees: "BVI companies are used for a diverse range of purposes, such as listing vehicles, joint ventures, asset holding, and investment fund vehicles. They play a material role in providing diverse structures for wealth management and provide for the free and efficient movement of capital across borders, fueling global economic growth."

He discussed a number of international tax transparency and regulatory developments, which have required action from offshore financial centers: "The evolving global landscape and focus on international finance centers have given us an opportunity to present the facts concerning the vital role that centers like the BVI play in maintaining a stable and efficient global economy. We sincerely believe that it is vital for jurisdictions to be integrally involved in any emerging regulatory framework that affects them and their stakeholders, and that full engagement at the highest level is vital to ensure that we in the BVI continue to serve the needs of our clients and other stakeholders."

Looking ahead he said there is a great opportunity for offshore and "midshore" jurisdictions to work together creatively. He said all international finance centers must come up with new products and offerings that are well-suited to handle global economic shocks, suit new clients in new geographies, and the new global regulatory environment.

On the BVI's relationship with Hong Kong, he concluded: "A synergy has existed between the BVI and the Asia Pacific region, and specifically Hong Kong, for more than a quarter of a century. During the global financial crisis, China continued to experience growth, and chose the BVI as a facilitator for this growth. Today, the exponential growth of the middle class in China undoubtedly creates the greatest opportunities for us to work together for mutual benefit."

"Demand from China and other emerging markets will ensure that offshore and midshores centers have a sustainable future in the global economy. The BVI is well-positioned to be part of and to facilitate this growth, and with a regional office now well established in Hong Kong, we look forward to forging even closer ties with the Asia region for many generations to come."

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