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BVI has proven to be a real, balanced and sustainable economy, despite its relatively small size. This is one of the key findings in the report, Creating Value: The BVI’s Global Contribution which was launched Wednesday, June 21 at the BVI International Arbitration Centre.
According to the report, “It is common for jurisdictions of the BVI’s size – both in physical and economic terms – to have significant exposure to a single sector,” but it further notes that the BVI balances two sectors.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said, “In reviewing the report it indicates BVI’s economy is supported by a thriving tourism sector as well as an innovative international business and finance centre. This means that half of the BVI’s economic output derives from our two key sectors of tourism and financial services.”
The reportalso clearly demonstrates that the BVIs tourism industry accounts for one in four jobs, while the international business and finance accounts for one in ten. According to the report, more than 2,000 persons are employed in the international business and finance sector.
“It is especially satisfying that while BVI supports millions of jobs globally, over two-thirds of all jobs in the local financial services industry are held by BVIslanders and Belongers,” Premier Smith said.
The Premier who is also the Minister for Tourism, further expressed his pleasure in the findings of the report which also provides evidence that the BVI is a major destination for tourists from across the world, with the Territory seeing an increase in the number of visitors between 2000 and 2016.
Recognising the BVI as a destination for international tourism, the report reveals that 1.1 million visitors travelled to the BVI in 2016 which represents a 22 percent increase over the previous year.
In terms of expenditure, in 2015, visitors to the Territory spent an estimated $484 million, while in 2014, over 755,000 visitors spent an estimated $460 million in the Territory – making tourism a substantial productfor the BVI.
Premier Smithstated: “My Government is committed tobuilding a prosperous Virgin Islands that is ideal to live, work, visit and do business. The findings of the report will enable us to continue charting our course to becoming an ideal destination for visitors and residents alike.”
The report which was commissioned by BVI Finance and undertaken by leading international economic consultancy, Capital Economics, provides an evaluation of the economic, financial and fiscal impact of the Territory and its investment vehicles on the world economy.
The report identified five key findings: First, despite its relatively small size, the BVI is a real, balanced and sustainable economy. Second, the BVI is home to a unique cluster of financial and professional services firms that form an ‘international business and finance centre’. Third, the BVI Business Company is a widely used and dependable vehicle to facilitate cross-border trade, investment and business. Fourth, the BVI is a sound and reliable centre which has worked harder than many bigger nations to meet international standards, and not some supposed tax haven. Fifth, through its direct employment, trade and most importantly, facilitation of cross-border business, the BVI supports jobs, prosperity and government revenues worldwide.
The full report can be downloaded at www.bviglobalimpact.com.