Press Release

Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade
Release Date:
Friday, 24 May 2024 - 8:51am

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) Asia Trade Mission, led by Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Honorable Lorna Smith, OBE, has successfully completed its first leg in Hong Kong, engaging in a series of meetings and events this week. The delegation included representatives from ten firms that sponsored and participated in the Trade Mission, showcasing the collaborative spirit of the BVI's public and private sectors.

In Hong Kong, Deputy Premier Smith held significant meetings with key figures including the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Deputy Financial Secretary, and officials from the British Consulate. These meetings aimed to bolster financial and economic ties between the BVI and Hong Kong, and highlighted the mutual benefits of such partnerships.

Deputy Premier Smith said “Our engagements in Hong Kong, one of the BVI’s most important markets, have been highly productive and rewarding. We have held valuable discussions with a wide range of officials, regulators and industry stakeholders on the critical issues shaping the future of financial services in Hong Kong and the BVI. I felt a resurgence of interest in BVI products both at our government and private sector meetings and I am determined to keep this level of engagement vibrant and mutually beneficial.”

Hong Kong, the first leg of the 2024 Asia Trade Mission, served to bolster the BVI's position as the region’s main partner for facilitating cross-border trade and business. The Mission will continue to other key locations in the region, aiming to build on the successes achieved in Hong Kong.

Organized in conjunction with the BVI’s Government Representative Office in Hong Kong, 200 industry stakeholders from Hong Kong’s most prestigious offshore and onshore law firms, corporate service providers and banks, as well as numerous intermediaries gathered for a series of panels and presentations to discuss the BVI advantage.

Panels discussed the significant role BVI financial products are presently playing in driving Greater China’s post-covid economic recovery, and in navigating dramatic changes in the global economy & financial regulatory environment. Industry participants agreed that, even in the midst of recent global economic instability, significant reorganization of regional tech supply chains, as well as intense geopolitical competition, the BVI remained the market leader for company incorporation and domicile in East Asia. The Territory’s legislative framework, common law institutions, cadre of legal and finance practitioners, and focus on efficiency & innovation continue to be highlighted as the gold standard in offshore finance.

The Roadshow also generated in-depth discussions on the surge in usage of BVI’s Approved Funds & Approved Manager regime as a niche solution for shorter term project completion and fundraising in both Hong Kong & China’s real-estate markets.

With a BVI delegation returning to Hong Kong for the first time since 2018, a series of presentations on BVI’s Fintech & Blockchain offering, and particularly the new Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) legislation, generated keen interest, as BVI continues to lead offshore finance in building an environment in which fintech & blockchain business can thrive in a healthy manner safe from illicit actors.

Presentations by Shan Greer, Director of BVI’s International Arbitration Centre also sparked great enthusiasm among participants as they learned how their dispute resolution needs can be met by the BVI in Asia. The delegation also met with Hong Kong’s Indian Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the usage of BVI structures for international trading companies and the benefits of BVI’s legal framework.

The Hong Kong leg of the Trade Mission culminated in a celebration marking the tenth anniversary of the BVI's Representative Office in Asia, based in Hong Kong. Dr. Ricardo Wheatley, BVI Asia-Pacific Representative and its Director, acknowledged the longstanding and fruitful relationship between the BVI, Mainland China, Hong Kong, and the broader Asia region. He highlighted the BVI's significant role in promoting its financial services and fostering strong business ties over the past decade. With 200 guests in attendance, the current and past Directors and Representatives of both the Government and Financial Services Commission Hong Kong Offices were recognized for their contribution and service to the office’s decade of success.

The Deputy Premier expressed her great thanks to Dr. Ricardo Wheatley and the staff of BVI's Representative Office, and BVI Finance, for organizing a successful financial services road show and anniversary celebration before departing for the Trade Mission’s second leg in Shenzhen.

For further information about the trade mission, please visit BVI Finance on LinkedIn or follow #BVIAsiaMission2024.


Sonjé Greenidge

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2742