A new report by independent economics consultancy, Capital Economics, examines the contribution of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to the world economy and conveys a very positive message about the small nation's global impact.

Making no excuses for the success the BVI has made of positioning itself as a top international business and finance centre, the report, Creating Value: BVI's Global Contribution, notes that the assets held by BVI business companies have an estimated global value of US$1½ trillion. Countries and companies from all over the world use these vehicles to manage and enhance their cross-border activities, including major international development banks (such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and businesses listed on the London, New York and Hong Kong main stock exchanges.

The BVI and other small jurisdiction 'international finance centres' now feature in the national consciousness because of the globalisation of trade and capital over the last few decades. Jurisdictions that have embraced international trade have typically become more prosperous as globalisation brings material advantages to investors, firms and national economies. Capital markets have also become increasingly global, with investors seeking returns from beyond their domestic markets and investees accessing wider sources of finance.

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