Premier Orlando Smith (C) with Chinese and BVI officials
ROAD TOWN, BVI -- The British Virgin Islands government on Friday signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the City of Shenzhen in China and the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen, to signal the beginning of a mutual relationship between the jurisdictions.
The MoU signed with the City of Shenzhen sets out the parties’ intentions to further increase friendship and bilateral cultural exchanges, to expand exchange and cooperation in areas of tourism, economy, culture, sports and other areas. While, the MoU signed with the Qianhai Authority sets out the parties’ intentions to promote exchange and cooperation in the financial industry.
BVI Premier Orlando Smith said, “This is a historic occasion, in that while we have had visits from Chinese delegations in the past, this is the first time that we are having such a significant delegation to forge a closer relationship.”
In referring to the establishment of BVI House Asia, Smith said that a major component of his government’s strategy is to expand and deepen the commercial footprint of the territory in one of the most important global markets.
Smith added, “In the Asia Pacific Region, the BVI has for many years been the jurisdiction of choice for economic development. BVI plays a major role in the global economy, and it is therefore paramount that we aggressively move to strengthen and expand into existing markets as well as explore and develop our physical presence in the Asia Pacific Rim.”
According to member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee and party chief of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee, Dr Wang Rong, “As one of the world-renowned offshore financial centres, the British Virgin Islands is not only an important source of foreign capital for China, but also a major platform for Chinese capital to go global.”
He added, “Last September, BVI House Asia was established in Hong Kong, a close neighbour of Shenzhen, creating even more favourable conditions for the cooperation between two sides. We warmly welcome BVI companies and institutions to strengthen overall and multi-layered cooperation with Shenzhen in various fields, and to share development opportunities with us for a better future.”
The delegation from Shenzhen has been in the territory since January 9, meeting with various stakeholders in the British Virgin Islands to discuss areas pertaining to cooperation in financial services, the BVI economy, tourism, cultural matters as well as education.
Shenzhen ranked second in Forbes’ 2012 list of innovative mainland cities and eighth in the world in terms of its economic vitality. With four pillar industries, namely, hi-tech, financial services, cultural industry and modern logistics, Shenzhen has established a sophisticated mechanism of manufacturing and service industries. Shenzhen is also regarded as leaders of transportation of passengers and cargo, ranking 49th and 24th respectively in the world.
Two MoUs, now officially signed, took effect on Friday.