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‘Disingenuous!’- VI Ambassador to UK/EU slams negative press on Fin Sector

- The $154,000 report has drawn negative international press; however, E. Benito Wheatley blasted them for picking on small jurisdictions
Virgin Islands Ambassador to London and the European Union, Mr E. Benito Wheatley, has hit back at the international press for their ‘entrenched position’ on the Virgin Islands as a financial services jurisdiction. Photo: bvi.gov.vg
The Virgin Islands has been quiet in the face of harsh criticism from the international press on its financial services sector, outside of former Permanent Secretary and Businessman Julian Willock speaking out and defending the VI’s legitimate business. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands has been quiet in the face of harsh criticism from the international press on its financial services sector, outside of former Permanent Secretary and Businessman Julian Willock speaking out and defending the VI’s legitimate business. Photo: VINO/File
Business Insider and Tax Justice Network have been two of the fiercest critics of the Virgin Islands’ financial services sector. Photo: Internet Source
Business Insider and Tax Justice Network have been two of the fiercest critics of the Virgin Islands’ financial services sector. Photo: Internet Source
LONDON, United Kingdom- The fallout on a report done for the Virgin Islands (VI), which speaks positively of the British Overseas Territory, continues to gain international headlines.

The report, which the Government of the VI, through its statutory body BVI Finance, paid some $154,000 USD for, said the VI is responsible for providing some 2 million jobs worldwide.

In addition, the report done by the consulting firm Capital Economics, which is based in the United Kingdom, said that the British Overseas Territory of some 30,000 residents is not a tax haven because they “mediates over US$1.5 Trillion of cross border investment flows, the equivalent of two percent of the global GDP.”

However, the international media including, Business Insider and Tax Justice Network, have been very negative and critical of the report, with three scathing articles, calling the Territory a tax haven, and alleged that it engaged in financial corruption among other things.

In light of this criticism, the VI has been quiet outside of former Permanent Secretary and Businessman Julian Willock speaking out and defending the VI’s legitimate financial services sector.

E. Benito Wheatley speaks

But the VI Ambassador to London and the European Union, E. Benito Wheatley, speaking exclusively to our newsroom when asked about the Tax Justice Report, said “they are entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts”. Mr Wheatley went on to say “in the face of the Capital Economics report on the VI as an IFC and economy, it is disingenuous of Tax Justice Network to maintain their entrenched position on the jurisdiction.”

When asked about the Business Insider article which continues to say ‘we are a tax haven and trying to hide it’, the young Ambassador said “the data clearly establishes the BVI is not a tax haven, which they refuse to accept despite the facts. This is likely because accepting this does not advance their agenda in which they pick on small jurisdictions such as the BVI.”

When asked what he thinks about persons like Mr Willock who do not work in the industry speaking out, Mr Wheatley told our newsroom “I welcome when BVIslanders step up to robustly defend the BVI’s reputation as an IFC and the legitimate financial services business the jurisdiction engages in.”

When pressed about the local criticism over the cost of the report done by Capital Economics, a whopping $154,000, the Representative who works from the BVI House in London said “The BVI Finance commissioned the report, they can speak to the balance between its cost and overall value to the territory in terms of demonstrating the BVI’s contribution to the world economy as an International Financial Centre.”

19 Responses to “‘Disingenuous!’- VI Ambassador to UK/EU slams negative press on Fin Sector”

  • trying to be relevant (29/06/2017, 12:02) Like (13) Dislike (12) Reply
    self praise is no praise at all
    • @ trying to be relevant (29/06/2017, 12:49) Like (12) Dislike (10) Reply
      especially, if its going cost us $154,000 money that could have been used for some scholarships around graduation time
      • smdh (30/06/2017, 14:06) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
        The BVI does NOT have an ambassador. This man is just a desk officer. Yes he is trying to be relevant.
        • @ smdh (30/06/2017, 22:22) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
          you people so foolish is amazing:

          An ambassador is an official envoy, or diplomat who represents a country and is usually assigned to another sovereign country, or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.

          The word is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavor such as sales.

          An ambassador is a government representative stationed in a foreign capital. The host country typically allows the ambassador control of specific territory called an embassy, or a Building owned by the foreign country whose territory, staff, and vehicles are generally afforded diplomatic immunity in the host country.

          Countries may choose to maintain diplomatic relations at a lower level by appointing a chargé d'affaires in place of an ambassador or a Representative that carries out the work of a ambassador in cases of none independent countries.
    • Yes (29/06/2017, 12:53) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      Speaking bout the esteemed one mr minister?
  • ccc (29/06/2017, 12:09) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    The new generation taking over
    • @ ccc (30/06/2017, 22:15) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Old battles don't stay won, but must be fought anew by every generation, and at different levels.
  • Just saying (29/06/2017, 12:09) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Tell um
  • naked king (29/06/2017, 12:36) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow we have an ambassador now.
    • @ Naked king (01/07/2017, 13:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      I posted before but you also need to read this:

      An ambassador is an official envoy, or diplomat who represents a country and is usually assigned to another sovereign country, or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.

      The word is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavor such as sales.

      An ambassador is a government representative stationed in a foreign capital. The host country typically allows the ambassador control of specific territory called an embassy, or a Building owned by the foreign country whose territory, staff, and vehicles are generally afforded diplomatic immunity in the host country.

      Countries may choose to maintain diplomatic relations at a lower level by appointing a chargé d'affaires in place of an ambassador or a Representative that carries out the work of a ambassador in cases of none independent countries.
  • Okay now (29/06/2017, 12:50) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Willock hope the NDP is paying you to defend the sector for they not doing anything but taking the $$$$$$$
  • Social Media (29/06/2017, 14:04) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    While I mostly agree with comments which are made, this story is not accurate. The BVI has not been silent on the report and, in fact, many local companies in the financial services sector have put out positive pieces to their contacts. In addition, BVI Finance and other persons in the sector have been active on social media putting out the positive messages. The BVI has been far from silent! And whilst there is focus on the cost of the report, no research report can be done for free. Significant time and attention is put into the report by Capital Economics which they must be compensated for (as you would expect if you were engaged to write a report). This report will help to ensure there is funding available in the future to pay for scholarships, employ persons in the BVI, etc. The Financial Services sector is an extremely important industry in the BVI (which the report also speaks to) and many persons in the BVI depend on revenues generated from the sector who are not even in financial services. Let's all send the international community the accurate message that BVI is a strong international finance and business center and a necessary player in the global economic community.
    • Borid (29/06/2017, 23:30) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree with much of what you say but the fact remains that the report was not as good as it should have been. The point being that it was unfocused and the figures on employment generated abroad mere extrapolations without substantiation.
      • King of Data (30/06/2017, 10:33) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        I think part of the issue is data - we have not been great at gathering it, analyzing it and understanding the value of it. However, what this report demonstrates is that when you have the data, you can tell a much more compelling argument as to the BVI's value proposition. I would hope the next report will have even more concrete evidence. Data is king now adays and how it is analysed is a critical skill. If you want to learn a new skill, learn the craft of data analytics.
  • Proud BVIslander (29/06/2017, 16:05) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Tax Justice is just a bunch of liberal hacks. Liberalism is exactly why the world is the way it is today. Its a cancer.
  • jack (29/06/2017, 19:32) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    strupes, no accountability that’s a lot of money for them to re-hash the Jersey report SMH
  • facts man (29/06/2017, 19:35) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    For the record the report was paid for by private sector money, not Government money.
  • Yaya (29/06/2017, 22:32) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Another stool
  • Just saying (30/06/2017, 16:16) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Jw and this weatley should form a party


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