BVI premier to lead first trade mission to Africa

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Premier Dr Orlando Smith

ROAD TOWN, BVI — British Virgin Islands premier and minister of finance, Dr Orlando Smith, will be leading a two-week trade mission to Africa in November.

The 2018 BVI Africa Trade Mission will take place from November 5 to 16 and will cover three countries and four of Africa’s major business hubs namely: Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Abuja, Nigeria; and Lagos, 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 BVI in Africa.”

Smith will be accompanied by a BVI Finance team as well as the Africa Expert Network (AXN), BVI Finance’s consultants for this mission. The mission is similar to the Asia Trade Mission and encompasses high-level meetings with government officials, private sector meetings including with relevant associations and three mini conferences to be held in Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos.

The mini conferences in the three cities will provide an opportunity for the delegation to promote the BVI 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.

The British Virgin Islands is a major financial services jurisdiction which 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 BVI is shown as having a direct investment relationship with several countries, including the countries the delegation will visit.

The release of the Capital Economics report highlighted that the BVI has been doing considerable business on the continent – Nigeria alone has had the largest foreign direct investment stock from the BVI standing at US$2.9 billion. It is expected that 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.

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