The British Virgin Islands’ economy is expected to see a slight growth this year, Deputy Financial Secretary (DFS) and policy analyst, Dawn Alexander-Joseph has said.
In a presentation before the 2019 Standing Finance Committee (SFC) in April, Joseph said the territory is expected to experience 2.2 percent growth for 2019.
She said this growth “would again be primarily driven by the growth in the construction industry, increase investments in public services and infrastructure, and continued recovery in the tourism sector”.
This newest projection comes after the territory recorded similar economic growth for 2018. The territory’s gross domestic product that year was 2.3 percent.
Joseph explained that the growth was “mainly driven by positive performance in financial services, the construction industries due in part to the ongoing rebuilding following the natural disaster events of 2017, as well as the rebounding of the tourism industry”.
Revenue collection surpasses projected amount
The Deputy Financial Secretary also reported to the SFC that revenue collection for the BVI in 2018 surpassed the projected amount. The territory budgeted for $311 million. However, the unaudited figures showed that $372 million was collected.
According to Joseph, the $61 million difference was from the “outperformance” of the financial services industry, the increase in the construction industry, and other areas.
Notably, the growth noted in 2018 was also partly as a result of expanded business and an increase in fees which came into effect on January 1.
“Additionally, there was an increase in new incorporations over 2017 which also contributed to the growth,” Joseph noted.
She further stated that “by October 2018, they had cleared over $2 million in revenue collection for the first time, and surpassed previous collections for the past five years.”
More revenue was also collected than the amount that was budgeted for between 2011 and 2015, Joseph said. A slight decrease occurred in 2016 and continued to decline through 2017, but rebounded in 2018 and outperformed the estimated figures, she added.
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