BVI News

EU, UK undermining BVI’s vulnerable economy

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith

The United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) are potentially hurting the territory’s already struggling and vulnerable economy.

That is according to Finance Minister and Premier, Dr D Orlando Smith.

The Premier said the EU’s incessant campaign to blacklist the BVI as a ‘non-cooperative and tax evasive’ country does not spell well for the territory.

He said the UK parliamentarians who are lobbying for the BVI to make its register of companies public, is also bad news.

“These two issues by themselves have the potential to significantly undermine our economy, the tax base on which central government depends to provide much-needed services to the people of the BVI, and the livelihoods of hundreds of people whose employment is in one way or the other connected to the financial services sector which is under direct threat,” the Premier said.

He made the remark while delivering the 2018 Budget Address.

Protect financial services

Dr Smith said the territory must protect its prized financial services sector, which remains in the bullseyes of international superpowers like the EU.

“What we face with respect to these two issues alone is a decision on whether we will continue to pursue our current financial services model or what actions this jurisdiction must take to make our financial services less vulnerable to these constant attacks.”

He, however, added: “I am very confident that with a united front, and with multi-partisan support in this Honourable House [of Assembly], and in this territory itself with strong, open debate; we can come to a decision that will serve in the best interest of our territory.

According to media reports, the BVI was saved from being pinned on the dreaded EU Blacklist because of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

However, the hurricanes were not enough to stop the UK-based Tax Justice Network from adding the territory to the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index.

The BVI ranks at number-16 on the index.

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14 Comments

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  1. Carefree says:

    Well, hiding rich people’s money so they can circumvent their own national laws is what we do. Enabling corporations across the world to move money smoothly is great but we all know the same system enables massive money laundering for gangster politicians, drugs and arms dealers, terrorists, etc. Now, saying we have the most transparent system of all the enablers does not cut it. And saying we are only doing same as City of London and Delaware etc does not make it right – just means we have company in our crimes.
    However, saying we don’t care about the damage we are doing to struggling tax payers – humans like you and I – in other countries, now that would be the most honest response. That would be the truly BVI response. “I don’t care about ayo, as long as I get a dollar.” Let’s be honest about the damage this industry does to other poor people across the world and the simple truth: we don’t care about them.

    • Strategist says:

      The country is missing a massive investment opportunity here. It is clear that the current offshore product delivered by the BVI is out of date and has had its day. It is only a matter of time, and a short time, before it is snubbed out completely. The opportunity is now available to bring in and develop new more innovative and acceptable financial services products and grow them by leveraging off the infrastructure already in place. This would be financed by the regeneration fund and would not be costly, it would secure the future for the next decade. Wakey wakey!

      • Joe Dlow says:

        Territory you are a territory , not a country. If you were a country you would have your own national guard to help after Irma.

    • @Carefree says:

      Open your eyes “Carefree,” the City of London is who established the Financial Services in the BVI and the other British Overseas Territories in order to take away the attention from Switzerland and its secrecy habits and the stash they stole during WWI and WWII from the peoples they experimented on during the holocaust. We are using that technology today at the expense of lives and health of millions. The survivors and descendants carried the church on seven hills, and other governments to court and won some settlements for return of gold, art, jewelry and other belongings. Get to know world history and connect the dots. Let me help you…Read Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins…Read Pawns in the Game….Read House Wind Swept by a former Jesuit Priest.

      • @@carefree says:

        Thanks. I have read some of those you list but will look for the others. Your version is a very neat package that’s both confusing – 7 carrying seven hills? – and perhaps contains much truth. My aim with that post was to be sarcastic, not explain the financial universe. Fact is, there’s a reason we and other ‘tax havens’ get blacklisted and it’s the most obvious one. In the BVI that translates not as guilt towards our fellow oppressed people but a definite ‘don’t give a f—-‘ attitude toward them. Kind of like a cocaine smuggler that doesn’t care about the drugs effects on customers, he’s just happy to take the cash. Wait, …

  2. Anonymous says:

    Liberalism is destroying the EU. No wonder Europe is in tatters…Counties like France is leading the charge. It is because of France why Haiti is as poor as it is. Likewise, in those African countries that still have to pay the French government for the independence to this day. I can see why Trump has a harden attitude towards them..

    • Eurrrr ... says:

      Sorry, Europe was “in tatters” in 1945 after anti liberalism – aka the right wing/fascism – spent 10 years shredding its nations and its people, literally to pieces?
      Think post-Irma on a massive scale with dead bodies. Millions and millions of them.
      That’s why the EU was set up – to avoid that ever happening again. Now you and Trump and other crazy amnesiacs want to blame ‘liberalism’ and reinstall small nations each one saying they better than the other and forming armies to prove patriotism isn’t just talk but worth doing some killing for.
      Hey, great ideas! Thanks for making the world a better place from your Fox ‘news’ armchair!

      • Anonymous says:

        @Euerrr. You totally missed my point. Countries like France and the U.K. a little less so are subject to pressure ps of their liberal society and the Tax Justice Network etc. hence why they are calling for beneficial ownership registers. Their aim is to destroy the economies of places like the BVI..

        • Eurrrr ... says:

          Why do they want to destroy the BVI? They don’t have better things to do? I understand very well what the EU etc are trying to do. But destroying the BVI is not something I’ve seen or heard on their busy agendas. Why would this be important to them, what will they gain?

  3. Sam the Man says:

    Accountability, transparency and willingness to be open with financial affairs has never been a strong point of the “No Direction Party” and the chickens are coming home to roost unless they change their secretive ways…..

    • Alternative says:

      But what’s the alternative ? the VIP were not any better just not as slick , …more obvious about stealing from the cookie jar!….I just so wish there was some younger politicians with integrity,drive and passion for their country but I see none sadly, all seem v weak….

  4. @Anonymous says:

    You must be very young- the offshore banking system here was set up during the early 80’s under Thatcher & Regan- guys like Rumsfeld, Bork and Major visited regularly to sign the docs.

  5. VILander says:

    Open your eyes dem doc, we’re losing it. It was a tool that we got smart to using but now they want us out so that we do not compete with them. If it’s them or us they’ve chosen them and we must do the same. We the ppl have ideas learn to listen to us b/c this is our country as much as yours.

  6. Sam the man says:

    Perhaps the real issue we have nobody of real passion, heart and drive as elected ministers – Proverbs 29:18 says “where there is no vision the people perish” and I don’t see a single ounce of vision from anybody on the Government and that is the real question issue in my opinion, where are the true leaders that will stand up with integrity, honesty, accountability and represent the people effectively ?

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