The BVI continues to see the downward spiral in corporate registrations.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie said revenue from registrations in 2020 was $168.9M; $26.5M less than initially projected and $29.8M or 15 percent lower than 2019.
“In fairness to the hard-working professionals in our financial services sector, economies and investments around the world have been hit by economic fallout and uncertainty since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Premier Fahie stated in his 2021 budget presentation yesterday, November 12.
He explained that the industry has been constantly bombarded with threats associated with blacklisting, Publicly Accessible Register of Beneficial Ownership by 2023, the BREXIT deal – or no deal, and other direct and indirect activities.
According to the Premier, the industry professionals have also been working to find innovative ways to make the BVI financial services more attractive and competitive, but cannot expect these efforts to bear fruit overnight nor under the current uncertain global economic climate.
“Nonetheless, the writing is on the wall. We need to diversify the economy and develop other economic engines to reduce our vulnerability to disruptions,” the Premier stated.
The Premier stated that financial services continue to be innovative and to this end embraces the corporate entity needs of sustainable finance.
He explained that environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters are the common language of sustainable finance, and the BVI as a premier financial centre continues to explore and provide opportunities for corporate entities that wish to showcase and highlight their sustainable business models.
"The introduction of ESG-focused BVI corporate registers will add to the ecosystem and assist the BVI in building more strategic solutions that serve the large number of established and growing BVI business companies and partnerships. These developments will better position the Territory and enhance the competitiveness of BVI financial services," the Premier stated.
he stated that the introduction this year of the Territory’s financial regulatory sandbox has offered a welcome mat to those companies and entrepreneurs that are eager to use BVI products and our well regarded financial services environment to support their foray into emerging technologies and services.
"This enhanced landscape will be of benefit to both locally and internationally based start-ups and entrepreneurs who are seeking to explore the FinTech arena. Additionally, these services will benefit the local economy and expand digital adoption and the availability of digitally native services," Premier Fahie outlined.
He stated that much effort is currently going into studying and exploring the development and possible introduction of cutting edge corporate structures designed to appeal to start-up and disruptors, and which offer alignment with the global trend of deregulation.
"As our traditional sources of revenue are being challenged by the pandemic and other factors, we must look to innovation in our key sectors and to non-traditional sources of revenue and leadership," Premier Fahie said.