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Hon Smith leading 13-member trade mission delegation to Asia

Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour, and Trade, the Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE (AL), will lead a 13-member delegation on a trade mission to Asia. Photo: GIS/File
Hong Kong: The Virgin Islands' delegation will meet with counterparts in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore to discuss the critical issues and innovative strategies shaping the future of financial services, both in the VI and across the Asian market. Photo:
Hong Kong: The Virgin Islands' delegation will meet with counterparts in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore to discuss the critical issues and innovative strategies shaping the future of financial services, both in the VI and across the Asian market. Photo:
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Government of the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) has announced that the Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour, and Trade, the Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE (AL), will lead a 13-member delegation on a trade mission to Asia, one of the VI’s most important business markets. The delegation will also be joined by industry counterparts from Asia.

The mission, from May 20-30, 2024, aims to bolster the VI's position as a leading partner for facilitating cross-border trade and business in Asia.

According to the Government Information Service (GIS) on May 17, 2024, the VI stands at the forefront of international corporate structuring for cross-border transactions and investment worldwide, and is a go-to hub for Asian businesses. More than 60% of government revenues come from financial services, and since the establishment of the BVI business company four decades ago, over one million companies have been incorporated, with 57% originating from Asia.

Advancing Cross-Border Trade and Innovation

Sponsored by BVI Finance and its members, and supported by the BVI Hong Kong Office, the mission gathers senior government officials and private sector leaders from the financial services industry. They will meet with counterparts in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore to discuss the critical issues and innovative strategies shaping the future of financial services, both in the VI and across the Asian market.

The theme ‘Advancing Cross-Border Trade and Innovation’ will be explored through a series of roadshows, meetings and receptions. The agenda includes several high-level meetings, including with the Hong Kong Government’s financial secretary, the British Ambassador to China, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Private sector's support acknowledged

Commenting on the trade mission, Deputy Premier Smith said, “We are delighted to return to Asia with another delegation from the BVI, and we’re grateful to the private sector for their sponsorship and investment in resources to join our mission. The BVI is Asia’s conduit to facilitate cross-border trade and investment, and for more than 30 years we have enjoyed a friendship with the region.

"The BVI’s attributes, such as a familiar legal system based on English common law and internationally compliant regulations, and our reputation for cutting-edge financial services product design and agility, have ensured that we have remained a premier destination for business and investment across Asia. We are proud to be its international partner of choice.”

Elise Donovan, Chief Executive Officer of BVI Finance said, “BVI Finance is proud to play such a significant role in the Asia Trade Mission, bringing together the private sector to contribute expertise and insights that resonate with the Asian financial community. We will look to showcase BVI’s strengths and competitiveness, and reinforce our commitment to facilitating global growth, providing innovative corporate solutions, and remaining at the forefront of developing trends across the world. This has enabled the BVI to support the region’s growth over the last three decades. We look forward to further developing relationships and partnerships with the business community during this mission.”

Dr Ricardo Wheatley, Director of BVI Hong Kong Office also said, “The BVI’s Government Representative Office in Hong Kong is pleased to facilitate BVI’s Asia Trade Mission & Road Show in partnership with BVI Finance and the Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade. The mission serves the dual purpose of reaffirming BVI’s commitment to Asia-Pacific markets and reinforcing our message to industry stakeholders in the region that the British Virgin Islands remains the premier Financial Jurisdiction for servicing their Offshore needs.”


The following businesses are sponsoring the Asia trade mission: ATU General Trust, Portcullis Group, ICS Corporate Services, Ogier, Maples Group, Appleby, Walkers, TMF Group, Bank of Asia, and Vistra.

28 Responses to “Hon Smith leading 13-member trade mission delegation to Asia”

  • Wealth (19/05/2024, 11:13) Like (15) Dislike (5) Reply
    It is humbling to see the BVI Government promoting their largest export product: The knowledge to assist large cooperations and wealthy individuals avoid taxes worldwide. Stiffening multiple jurisdictions of (tax) income. The largest shift of wealth to "the chosen few" which has led to our children's reality that their standard of living will be infinitely lower than the current generation, luckily this does not affect the 1-2%, only the remaining 98% of the population. Perhaps humbling is not the right choice of words here...
    • Who’s Going? (19/05/2024, 13:33) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
      Who are the 13 member delegation?

      Any unnecessary extras going for a free trip?
    • Money well spent (20/05/2024, 07:44) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      I applaud the initiative which will guarantee that the honourable member keeps her top airmiles status on American but will serve little other purpose. Will it be like the trip to Guyana where she arrived and then tried to organise some meetings, or will she try to arrange anything in advance of her arrival. At least there is good shopping in HK to keep her amused. Has she been invited by the HK Government or is she just turning up? Who in HK wants to meet her?
    • QTNAs (21/05/2024, 19:26) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Why is the Leader of the Opposition’s wife one of the 13 on this trip?

      Is it because one of the besties on the trip as well?
  • What!!’ (19/05/2024, 11:14) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    I see a list of sponsors but will we ever be told how much this is costing us the tax payers?
  • trevor (19/05/2024, 11:28) Like (28) Dislike (5) Reply
    What a complete waste of money, we already have a saturated presence.
    A jolly to avoid the responsibility here at home.
  • Again. (19/05/2024, 12:43) Like (35) Dislike (5) Reply
    This is too much now. Hon Trickster over doing. The country is broke, nothing going on in the country, yet these people travelling in bundles on the little money we have in the treasury..With no meaningful results to
  • jolly (19/05/2024, 13:03) Like (36) Dislike (3) Reply
    Haven’t they heard of zoom.
  • Beware (19/05/2024, 14:11) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    Not just a complete waste of tax-payers money but potentially damaging to the BVI. Several Caribbean nations have been enticed to accept loans from Beijing. However, this Trojan Horse hides China’s mercantile interests and the exploitation those involve.
  • WOW (19/05/2024, 15:13) Like (37) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why on earth do we need to be sending 13 people on trip like this.. I thought our Asia office in Hong Kong is staffed with professionals to cover this. Or at least supply some personal assistance..what is the point in having that office if we have to send another 13 person delegation.
    Who are the 13 people going..and what is the justification for them going...we have a right to know please.
    • huh (19/05/2024, 21:11) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      How do we get to see the actual cost of a trip like this. .us there a government department that helps track of all of this. We do have a right to know
      1/ who is going and the justification for them going
      2/ how much it is costing in flights, hotels, additional pay
      3/ who received the travel airlines for this.
      In my business when staff travel all airmiles s go to the company account which we then use for future company travel

      13 people how ?????
    • @ wow (20/05/2024, 10:22) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      You know the same BVI Finance crew who always on a trip for weeks at a time going.

      BVI House Asia could’ve assisted instead of wasting money tagging along the same set of employees.
  • Nick name (19/05/2024, 16:42) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    this is in sane why thirteen members
  • First Class? (19/05/2024, 17:33) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    They will all be travelling First Class and receiving $500 a day per diem. What a waste of money. China is taking over other Territories watch this space.
    • Yes. FIRST CLASS (20/05/2024, 13:22) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      …. to Asia x 13. That is close to 100,000.00$ plus about another 50K for their Per Diem.
      That could have fixed 20 miles of our roads already.
  • 2024 (19/05/2024, 18:35) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    stop selling out the country
  • See (19/05/2024, 19:07) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Let's waste more money so a few elites can vacation
  • WOW (19/05/2024, 19:48) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    LUCKY 13
  • Vision (19/05/2024, 20:08) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Just traveling, traveling.Meeting in Guyana with a large delegation, no result, now going to these people in the asian continent with a large delegation to be chewed and sent back to us with husk. It seems like we the people have no say. Dialogue happens no more, only close to to election. "where there is no vision the people perish". Use that travelling expenses to fix our roads and the much needed incinerator at Pack Wood Pond. Zoom meeting and email are the way to go right now in this our time of crisis.
  • Real Talk (19/05/2024, 20:28) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Shut ar uo mouth lorna on the move did you think she took the dish washer with her to asia i am awaiting good result .
  • Rubber Duck (19/05/2024, 21:17) Like (0) Dislike (9) Reply
    Thank you Lorna you have done well for your country donot mind the noises we with you

    Your deligation is too small bumeda took 40 last year
  • watch the game (19/05/2024, 23:03) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Coming back home emptyhanded AGAIN
  • tola (20/05/2024, 03:35) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Waste of time government
  • 7 mill (20/05/2024, 06:35) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope BVI AirWays is taking them there.
  • just wrong (20/05/2024, 08:41) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    13 people ???? Someone has their priorities messed up.
  • VOTE (20/05/2024, 13:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    can the VIP be put back politically if UK don’t take over by 2027

    the people got the rid of VIP but PIP|NDP|PVIM could not form the Administration for the Good of the Country

  • lol (20/05/2024, 15:14) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ministry of Air Miles.

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