The British Virgin Islands continues to be the undisputed market leader in the offshore financial services industry and the preferred jurisdiction in the Asia Pacific Region.
For the sixth consecutive year, the BVI was ranked as the most important jurisdiction by survey respondents both inside and outside Asia.
The Territory’s dominance as a jurisdiction in investments holding companies is now reinforced by a trend where clients are using more sophisticated and complex structures and transactions such as special purpose vehicles, funds and trusts, financing, listing, mergers and acquisitions.
Chief Executive Officer of Vistra Group, Mr. Martin Crawford, in a presentation on behalf of BVI Finance at the 2015 China Offshore Summit said the Territory held about 50 percent of the market share of new offshore companies formed globally, and of the active companies on the BVI’s registry, about 60 percent were from Asian clients. He also noted the BVI’s top-ranking as the most competitive offshore financial centre in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).
Mr. Crawford stated that the BVI remains the market leader because of a number of factors, including its ease of doing business, legal and commercial certainty, and its robust regulatory standards. He said with more than 200 BVI practicing lawyers in Asia, the Territory has an extensive network of experienced professionals in Asia, where it has been operating for more than 25 years. Mr. Crawford added that through the use of its corporate structures, the BVI companies are a key source of investment flows into China, the world’s second largest economy.
The CEO of the Vistra Group said the BVI is focused on “valued-added”, rather than pure volume, and also referenced the sixth Offshore 2020 Report, which annually examines trends in the offshore industry.
In addition, Mr. Crawford highlighted that BVI was also gaining share on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) and that the top ten listed companies on both the HKEx and the Shanghai Stock Exchange had a number of BVI subsidiaries. He concluded that the BVI is “in pole position relative to other offshore jurisdictions, as it is leading from the front,” and that the BVI and its future is very much guaranteed.
Presentations were also made for the BVI at the Summit by Group Legal Counsel at AMS Financial Group, Mr. Barry Mitchell; Director of BVI House Asia, Ms. Elise Donovan; and Managing Partner China of Harney, Westwood and Riegels, Ms. Kristy Calvert.
Commenting on this year’s summit, Ms. Donovan said, “We are pleased to see that the BVI continues to be viewed as the undisputed jurisdiction of choice in the offshore financial services industry. We are grateful for the support and positive endorsement that we as a jurisdiction have received from the financial services practitioners attending this year’s summit.”
Ms. Donovan added that China continues to be systemically important to the global financial system and BVI Asia House is proud to offer an innovative and reliable set of solutions to its longstanding clients in the Asia Pacific region. More than 500 Chinese business leaders attended this year’s China Offshore Summit held in Shanghai from November 4 to 5, which was held under the theme, “BVI –Leading From the Front”.