The British Virgin Islands (BVI) will be taking its first financial service mission to Africa in November, under the leadership of Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, who is the minister responsible for Finance.
The two-week trade mission will take place from November 5-16, and will cover three African nations— South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria — and four of its major business hubs, including Cape Town in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya, Abuja in Nigeria and Lagos in Nigeria.
Interim Executive Director of BVI Finance, Lorna Smith said, “We have set our sights on Africa for quite some time now, as it represents a major opportunity for our financial services industry.”
“We are, therefore, very much looking forward to taking our message to the governments and business centres, where we can work effectively to develop relationships that will benefit all. We are very pleased to be able to make this visit to further strengthen the profile of the British Virgin Islands in Africa,” he added.
According to a statement, the mission will be similar to the Asia trade mission, which includes high-level meetings of BVI delegation with government officials, private sector meetings, and three mini conferences to be held in Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos.
The statement said, “The mini conferences in the three cities will provide an opportunity for the delegation to promote British Virgin Island as a jurisdiction, together with benefits of a range of BVI products and services, such as private equity and venture capital offerings, investment funds, trusts, estate and succession planning.”
“These, together with the proven BVI corporate product, the BVI Business Company and the recently unveiled Micro Business Company will enhance efforts to broaden and deepen relationships with African businesses,” it added.
A major financial services jurisdiction, the British Virgin Islands facilitates the cross-border trade and investment, which is central to the continuing growth and development of the African continent.
According to the Capital Economics report, Creating Value: The BVI’s Global Contribution, “the BVI mediates considerable foreign direct investment into developing countries, including many African nations.
The Capital Economics report also noted that “the BVI is shown as having a direct investment relationship with several countries, including the countries the delegation will visit,” and highlighted that the BVI has been doing “considerable business on the continent”.
The report revealed that Nigeria alone has had the largest foreign direct investment stock from the BVI, which stood at US$2.9 billion.
The statement said, “It is expected that good business to be done, and the visit will allow government and the private sector to work together in driving the growth of the Territory’s Financial Services industry.”
Will the British Virgin Islands trade mission bring any fortune to Africa’s growth?