About British Virgin Islands (BVI)

About the country

There are four main islands on the British Virgin Islands (BVI) called Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. The primary language is English, with a quick Creole accent. With hundreds of private bays and beautiful coves and the wonderful weather of the Caribbean, the islands have been a refuge for sailors and non-sailors alike while BVI's 60 islands and cays are isolated and mostly intact by tourism

The Governor of British Virgin Islands is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government. Defence and Foreign Affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

About the economy in BVI

The major areas of economy in BVI are primarily financial services and secondly tourism. Tourism consequently employs a larger number of people within the country, and occupies a bigger proportion of the locally owned businesses (e.g. tourism-dependent sole traders such as taxi drivers and street vendors etc).

Financial services associated with the territory's tax haven status are by far the most important for the British Virgin Islands economy since 51.8% of the Government's revenue comes directly from license fees for offshore companies and from payroll taxes relating to salaries paid within the trust industry sector.

In 2001, the Financial Services Department (FSD) in BVI was reformed after the request of the Financial Services Commission. The FSC is an autonomous regulatory authority that regulates, supervises and inspects all financial institutions in and associated with the BVI. Under the vision of the FSC are all of the insurance, banks, trustees' companies, business management companies, and mutual fund companies.

The FSC also promotes public understanding of the BVI financial system, the diverse products offered while it monitors financial crime, and prevention of market abuse. The FSC guarantees the privacy and confidentiality of all legitimate company settlements. The FSC's commitment is to secure all services and treat them with integrity and responsibility while ensuring that the British Virgin Islands are kept as a number one choice in the Caribbean for offshore financial services.
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