A report funded by the British Virgin Islands government has found that belongers occupy close to 70 percent of positions in the territory’s international businesses and finance centre, followed by expatriates from other Caribbean countries.
It should be noted that the report defines the ‘international business and finance centre’ as a unique cluster of financial and professional services firms.
“The BVI’s international business and finance centre directly employs over 2,000 people. Over two thirds of these jobs are held by BVIslanders and Belongers,” said the report, which is produced by British company Capital Economics. It is entitled Creating Value – The BVI’s Global Contribution.
Head of Business Development at the government-owned BVI Finance, Gary Hayes, yesterday told journalists it is ‘interesting’ that a ‘good proportion’ of the industry’s workforce is made up of locals.
“The interesting thing is over two thirds – 68 percent – of the employees in our international business and finance centre are BVIslanders/BVI belongers. So there is a good proportion of local people employed within the industry,” Hayes said.
He further stated that the BVI also contributes significantly to other Caribbean countries.
The second largest portion of the workforce of the BVI international businesses and finance centre is actually from other Caribbean countries, Hayes said.
“When you look at expats working in the finance centre, over 8000 work permits exist, and the large majority of those are within the Caribbean region.”
“65 percent of expats working in the BVI are from the wider Caribbean. So, again, it’s true that the BVI plays a significant role globally in those 2.2 million jobs [it helps to maintain], but also within the wider region. If you look within the report, the key countries within the Caribbean that are supported in terms of employees here are from Jamaica, Guyana, and Dominican Republic. So, the BVI is an important contributor to the Caribbean economy,” added Hayes.
He stated that, based on the Capital Economics report, the BVI international business and finance centre employs 3000 people indirectly.
During the press conference to introduce the Capital Economics report, Kedrick Malone, who is a representative of BVI Finance, gave an idea of the type of salaries paid in the financial services industry.
“The earnings in the industry – approximately over $76,000 per person, of course that pushes up the average earning in the industry. And this is the norm in the sector worldwide. It employs a lot of professional accountants and other professionals who are top earners, and it has the reputation of attracting top talent.”
“So, from an income standpoint and from a prosperity standpoint, we can see why the average per capita [Gross Domestic Product] is $32,500, and that really is a combination of the level of talent that’s required to run the industry as well as the jobs they support,” added Malone.
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