Hoteliers and other business leaders in the British Virgin Islands will hear about the recently launched BVI Forward campaign at a business connection luncheon hosted by the British Virgin Islands Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA).
Director of the Financial Services Implementation Unit (FSIU), Mr. Kedrick Malone will be the guest speaker and the focus of his presentation will be BVI Forward – Preparing for a strong and sustainable financial services sector and the opportunities it brings.
The BVI Forward campaign is designed to further strengthen the British Virgin Islands’ internationally recognised financial services sector and increase the awareness and engagement of the population in the process.
The campaign is part of efforts to build upon the successes of the financial services industry and encourage greater involvement by key stakeholders in ensuring its sustainable future.
While the campaign seeks to strengthen the industry recognised as one of the twin pillars of the local economy, the recommendations for moving the industry forward are all encompassing and will have far-reaching implications for other sectors of the economy.
One such recommendation is the reform of labour and immigration which will benefit not only the financial services industry but other sectors like the hotel and construction industries which utilise a high volume of expatriate workers.
Mr. Malone said, “The BVI Forward campaign is really about the future sustainability of the local economy and maintaining the standard of living that residents have grown accustomed to which is due in part to the financial services industry and its contribution to the economy.”
The FSIU Director underscored the importance of engaging the BVI population which is one of the recommendations being implemented by the unit.
“We are taking a holistic approach to moving the financial services industry forward and it is therefore important to have everyone understand what we are doing and the significance of the industry and its impact in our daily lives. Have you considered how the industry affects your line of business or vice versa? Have you stopped to wonder what the BVI would be like without the revenue generated by the financial services industry? This is the sort of mass appeal we want to create through the BVI Forward campaign so that everybody plays their part,” Mr. Malone added.
The Financial Services Implementation Unit has been forging ahead with its mandate since being fully staffed in September and officially launching the BVI Forward campaign.
To date, the team has met with all of the Initiative Sponsors who are the persons spearheading the Initiative Working Teams charged with creating action plans for executing the respective initiatives.
The team is currently assessing the data gathering needs to establish baselines which will be used as the starting point from which to measure the value of its work over the two year period, as well as formulating the work plans which would guide the execution of duties over the same period.
The team has also been establishing contact with representatives of various government departments as the starting point to intricate collaboration over the next two years to implement necessary changes that will serve to not only strengthen the financial services industry but improve operational efficiency across the board.
BVI Forward comprises a list of ten initiatives which are outlined as follows: Establish a dedicated Delivery Unit to coordinate and drive implementation; Revamp the International Finance Centre; Strengthen the Business Development Function; Engage the Population; Build BVIslander Capabilities; Pursue Tax Initiatives; Enhance Customer Service at the Financial Services Commission; Attract and Offer Value-Added Services; Reform Immigration & Labour and Invest in Infrastructure.