British Virgin Islands: Diplomatic & Economic Relations Strengthened between BVI and China; Talks hailed a success
Last Updated: 16 November 2005

The Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Finance and Development, the Hon. Mr Ronnie W. Skelton, on Friday described the visit to Beijing, China by a senior BVI delegation as a success. The delegation comprised the Minister; the Hon. Dr Kedrick Pickering; the Hon. Mr Mark Vanterpool; Mr Robert Mathavious, MD and CEO of the Financial Services Commission; Mrs Lorna Smith, Executive Director of the International Finance Centre ("IFC"); Mr Humphry Leue, COO of the IFC; and Mrs Deborah Deveaux, an officer of the IFC. It is the first official visit by a BVI government delegation to mainland China.

The Minister said:

"The BVI is listed as the biggest investor in China because of our success as an international finance centre. It was therefore important that we explained the safeguards we have in place to protect the integrity of our finance industry, so that the Chinese authorities can be secure in the knowledge that our financial services practitioners operate within an effective regulatory regime and that China can continue to have confidence when dealing with BVI businesses and products".

The delegation met with Vice Ministers and other senior officials from several key Government departments. These included the State Administration of Taxation, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the Ministry of Finance. In addition to those meetings, the British Embassy in Beijing graciously offered hospitality to the BVI delegation in the form of a luncheon for the group and a number of senior Chinese officials. A meeting was also held with the Ministry of Culture to discuss ways and means to build closer cultural and socio-economic relationships between the people of China and the BVI.

Minister Skelton had high praise for the courtesy with which the BVI delegation had been received:

"In many ways, the BVI is of course quite small when compared to China. However, in all cases we were received and treated by our hosts with the utmost graciousness and courtesy, and were able to have constructive and detailed discussions on matters of importance to both countries. This is a significant achievement, and the dialogue that has now been initiated will continue both through my office and the International Finance Centre, as well as the Financial Services Commission."

Mrs Lorna Smith, Executive Director of the IFC said:

"One of the key roles of the IFC is to ensure that the BVI’s commitment to its regulatory standing and our solid reputation as a pre-eminent international financial centre are well communicated to the international community. To this end, the visit to China has already been a great success. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with our Chinese counterparts and we are confident that the road shows in Shanghai and Hong Kong will further cement our ties to the region."

For further information contact

Lorna Smith, Executive Director or
Humphry Leue, Chief Operation Officer
BVI International Finance Centre
Haycraft Building, Pasea Estate
Tortola, B.V.I.
T. 494 1509
F. 494 1260

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