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VI looking to tap into African business market - Hon Wheatley

- eyes set on South Africa as starting point
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) says the Virgin Islands (VI), as part of diversifying its business services and sectors, will be looking to tap into the African business market, starting with South Africa as a new prospect. Photo: VINO/File
View of skyline in Johannesburg, South Africa where the Virgin Islands is looking to tap into the countries business services sector. Photo: Internet Source
View of skyline in Johannesburg, South Africa where the Virgin Islands is looking to tap into the countries business services sector. Photo: Internet Source
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) says the Virgin Islands (VI), as part of diversifying its business services and sectors, will be looking to tap into the African business market, starting with South Africa as a new prospect.

"One of the things that Premier [Andrew A. Fahie] has dedicated himself to doing is trying to diversify the economy as much as possible, so we're not only diversifying our economy but diversifying or markets in the same. So coming up in the next few days we will be travelling with the IFC [International Finance Centre] and we are going to be doing an exploratory mission to Africa," Hon Wheatley said on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.

Huge Potential in Africa 

The Minister was at the time speaking on public radio, ZBVI 780am with Claude O. Skelton-Cline on the 'Honestly Speaking' show.  

"The African market is a huge market, basically untapped by us," he pointed out while noting that the Virgin Islands will explore all avenues to tap into the continent's business sector.

"We are big in international finance, but we mainly deal with the European and North American markets, and we are saying to ourselves why don't we just look a little wider afield... what about Africa? Africa is doing a tremendous amount of business that we could be getting a piece of that pie."

Rebranded from the BVI International Finance Centre in 2005, BVI Finance is the voice of the Virgin Islands’ financial services industry; marketing and promoting its products and services, as well as managing its reputation as an offshore financial centre. 

Business Tourism 

Further, according to Hon Wheatley, starting with South Africa, the plan is to meet with business leaders in the country to bring awareness to the services being offered by the Virgin Islands.

"One of the things we are also trying to do is to create business tourism. We want folks to understand [that] not only is the BVI a good place to do business but a great place to also visit," he said.

"That's why you see we're doing so much work keeping our environment pristine, doing the beach policy," Hon Wheatley noted. 

Over the years, the VI has established itself as the leading provider of offshore financial services through business-friendly regulatory regime and environment. The territory has also maintained a heightened presence at conferences and trade events in core and emerging markets.

14 Responses to “VI looking to tap into African business market - Hon Wheatley”

  • Yes (14/10/2019, 13:36) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Back to our roots
  • good move (14/10/2019, 15:11) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    Time to stop depending on thise racist people
    • Huh @ good move (14/10/2019, 17:54) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      The VIP are not racist! You are talking foolishness and stupidness.
  • Nothing new (14/10/2019, 15:11) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply

    Premier Dr D Orlando Smith

    The British Virgin Islands is expanding its financial services reach by embarking on a two-week trade mission to Africa in November.

    Minister responsible for finance, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith will be leading a local delegation across three African nations – South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

    While visiting those countries, the BVI delegation will participate in a number of high-level meetings with officials in African governments and in the African private sector.

    Three mini-conferences are to be held in the South African city of Cape Town, the Kenyan capital Nairobi, and also in Lagos, Nigeria.

    Citing a study from London-based consultancy firm Capital Economics, Interim Executive Director of BVI Finance Lorna Smith said the visit is to “further strengthen the profile of the BVI in Africa”.

    “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,” she said.

    “There is, therefore, good business to be done and this visit will once again allow government and the private sector to work together in driving the growth of our industry in these challenging times.”

    The trade mission to Africa will run from November 5 to 16.
  • Mother land (14/10/2019, 15:16) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    First it was Willock now Vincent seems vip on a pilgrimage to Africa lol
  • Its The Other Way Around (14/10/2019, 17:08) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    China isn't in Africa trying to get Africans to do business in China. They are there to build airports, to light up entire towns, to take over airports and gold and silver mines. Even regular individuals are in Africa looking for opportunities; especially in places like Ghana. South Africa has to biggest gold mines. I watched a video where a preacher was preaching about how an outside company went into Africa and took over a Copper Mine that government couldn't figure out how to mine the copper ore; yet in no time at all the company was able to pay off the government from the earnings they mined from their copper mine. Leave Africa alone Hon Wheatley. We already have to many SA here. What are they doing? Skippering our yachts and importing their wines and sweet drinks
    If you guys are not talking and listening the voice of the real masters, (US), you are going to pussyfoot around, waste away what little we have in the kittie and next election become One-Timers. Who de heck like being a one timer ?
    • Thoughtful Sailor (14/10/2019, 22:14) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ever notice how hard most of those South Africans work? And....."our yachts"? Yep, they are based here and there is nothing to stop a BVIslander from owning one or investing in the industry rather than in fancy cars and houses, but somehow no one does! I guess it is easier to make racist comments than to invest money, time, and energy in an industry that should have substantial local involvement. Talk is very cheap.
  • WHAT!!! (14/10/2019, 20:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I know of a Nigerian Prince who can help us with a few million.
  • ABC (14/10/2019, 20:53) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Kudos to the VIP good move
    • SMH (15/10/2019, 08:32) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      This was already decided and booked long before Feb 2019 that this would happen in Nov 2019...smh! Why cant we be the transparent govt that was campaigned on!
  • OB1 (14/10/2019, 22:08) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    Well God Bless the Father of Modern Africa, Haile Selassie I, for saving it so we can now do this. And this is nothing new the great World War you heard of was about the colonization & exploitation of Africa, which again was nothing new as this is the agenda of non afrikan pplz every century. This is wise and prudent, and yes when dr smith realized he was hoodwinked and misled and deceived he searched for a new a market as he saw all the booming economies and industries the Chinese are interested in back home. We are together now as 1 nation, all be it under VIP leadership, but we are together and we can make this work
  • GHANA BOUND (15/10/2019, 09:59) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Welcome this move. I have been saying this for the longest while. Let us connect to Africa. Most are independent states. When one door closes, others will open. Who is taking the African market in Financial Services. Welcome home, people, Ghana has been saying from 2019, "the year of return." It is time we reconnect with our cousins in Africa and see the blue-eye devil for who he was to our ancestors. We are going home!!
  • Good Move but not SA (15/10/2019, 10:23) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    But South Africa is not the place to start- the whites there are very racist and the black are xenophobes- best visit Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya if you want results- a trip to South Africa is a simple excursion- nada will come from it
  • Wait stop hold up (16/10/2019, 08:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Blessed day BVI citizens why don't the government look within its territory

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