The Beyond Globalisation Conference successfully brought an array of industry experts together for the launch and discussion of the Summary Report, ‘Beyond Globalisation: The British Virgin Islands’ contribution to global prosperity in an uncertain world’. The report was commissioned by BVI Finance from Pragmatix Advisory.
BVI Finance Board Chairman Mr. Nicolas Bishop opened the Conference explaining the need was driven by the desire to ensure the international business community could access current and comprehensive information about the role that the BVI plays in the global economy.
“Those facts show why the use of BVI structures remains both relevant and popular in the current environment. The BVI is home to a globally respected and unique international business centre. No matter where you go on marketing trips, globally, the BVI is an instantly recognised name for the incorporation of companies,” said Mr. Bishop.
Mr. Bishop said, “We turned to Pragmatix, given their independent knowledge of the BVI, to work on this assignment because of its important nature and the amount of effort that was required to pull this together, given the number of companies and regulated service providers across financial services who are involved in our industry.”
Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley, in his remarks said, the conference further explore the drivers and barriers for growth and the foreseeable future for the Territory.
“The BVI has played an important part in the globalisation story. People and businesses choose the BVI because of our robust legal framework, regulation and conformity to international standards,” said Premier Wheatley.
He continued, “We are a popular and efficient jurisdiction for the incorporation and operation of a range of entities, including holding companies, multi-shareholder companies, joint venture companies and funds, trusts and partnerships.
We are also well-known for our professional service firms, primarily legal, insolvency and accounting, our well-renowned centre where disputes are resolved in our Commercial Court and the International Arbitration Centre.”
“Our global economy must and will continue to evolve as we rise to meet the challenges that lie ahead, from combatting climate change and tackling inequality to incorporating new digital assets and currencies into our global financial structures,” added Premier Wheatley.
Founder and Director of Pragmatix Advisory, Mark Pragnell, the keynote speaker at the Beyond Globalisation Conference, presented the key areas that have affected globalisation and the financial services industry.
Topics included, the end of the old-world order; BVI: a globalisation success story; Tax justice vigilantes and debt-laden big nations; Uncertainty in a new era of globalisation; and Navigating the risks and leveraging the opportunities.
Experts who contributed to the panel discussions were Jeroen Hoogendijk, TMF; George Weston, Harneys; Rosa Restrepo, Arias Fabrega and Fabrega Trust Co BVI; Elizabeth Killeen, Carey Olsen; Clarence Faulkner, PMI Group, Inc.; Lorna Smith, OBE, LGS and Associates; Robert Briant, Conyers; Vanessa King, O’Neal Webster; Julia Shamini Chase, Gold Leaf Consulting; Ayana Glasgow, Aleman, Cordero, Galindo and Lee Trust; Matthew Cowman, Walkers. The panel moderators were Brodrick Penn, BVI Financial Services Commission and Simon Gray, BVI Finance.
The first panel discussed the “International Finance Centres in an Uncertain Future” which addressed the role of IFCs, international standards, perception versus reality, core markets and their future, and keeping up with trends.
Speaking on the first panel, Ms. Julia Shamini Chase said, “It is too early to jump on the grave of globalisation because it is not dead. I do not think it will ever die, we will just see the evolutions of it or different versions.
In terms of what we are look at now and putting it into context. For starters, the BVI Business Company at its core, has been a very beautiful product to facilitate cross-border transactions. With the new world order, we will always have cross-border transactions.”
She continued, “The BVI will continue to play an important role provided that we continue to evolve our business product and our services to react and provide better opportunities to persons who are seeking and who will always seek cross-border transactions.”
The second panel discussed “The BVI’s Global Impact and the Opportunities and Challenges” which addressed the impact of Technology, Climate and Sustainability, and Future-proofing the BVI Business Company.
Speaking on the second panel, Mrs. Lorna Smith, OBE said that the BVI has proven its resilience post COVID and post the 2017 hurricanes.
“The BVI continues to punch above its weight. Today, we know for instance that a country that has 30,000 people, contributes to the employment of 2.2 million people; that is very significant.”
The well-received Beyond Globalisation Conference took place on November 15 and was a part of BVI Finance’s Annual Financial Services Week 2022, celebrated under the theme ‘Globalisation: BVI Beyond’.
To access the photo gallery from the, ‘Beyond Globalisation Conference, click here. (www.bviglobalimpact2.com).
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