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General

The British Virgin Islands is a British Dependant Territory consisting of numerous small islands approximately 50 miles east of Puerto Rico and adjacent to the United States Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The principal islands of the British Virgin Islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Josh Van Dyke. The capital of British Virgin Islands is Road Town, situated in Tortola. The population of the islands is about 19,000 with an ethnic diversity of Afro-Caribbean, European, American and Asian.

Government

The Queen of England is the Head-of-State of the British Virgin Islands. She is represented by an appointed Governor. Britain is responsible for the islands defense, internal security and external affairs.

There is a uni-cameral Westminster modeled Parliament with locally elected members. Parliament is made up of the Executive Council, presided over by the appointed Governor and includes the Attorney General (ex-officio) the Chief Minister (appointed by the Governor from those elected to the legislative council) and three other ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister. The legislative council consists of the four ministers and the nine other elected representatives. The legislative council is presided over by a speaker elected from outside the council.

Judicial

The Judicial System is under the direction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, which includes the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal. The Final Court of Appeal resides with the Privy Council in England. The legal system is based on British Common Law and statute enacted by the locally elected legislative council when signed and approved by the Governor.

Economy

The British Virgin Islands economy is primarily dependant on tourism and financial services. Tourism revolves around diving, yachting and cruise tourism. The British Virgin Islands archipelago contains a variety of islands with different things to offer the visitor and residents alike; endless white sand beaches on Anegada to emerald green mountains on Tortola. The numerous islets and cays offer excellent yachting experiences or secluded beaches for lazing and sun tanning. Also available is a rich and varied culture. Events throughout the year highlight local history, art, dance and music.

Accommodation is provided for the visitor in the many luxury resorts, family-like villas, inns and quaint hotels. Approximately 55% of overnight visitors stay aboard yachts, and these visitors account for 60% of total visitor revenue to the tourism industry.

Financial Services

A close partnership between the Government and the private sector has contributed to the success of the Financial Services sector, which accounts for roughly 50% of total government revenues. Increasingly, Asian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European companies are being drawn to the British Virgin Islands for its high quality Financial Services sector and particularly its Offshore International Business Companies.

The British Virgin Islands is one of the world's leading finance centres, offering leadership, the integrity of a progressively governed British Dependant Territory and a sophisticated democratic and stable society. There is a commitment to the investor's right to privacy and a professional banking, legal, accounting, trust and management services. With the private sector, the Government continues to accept innovative financial services concepts, consistent with its priority of protecting and enhancing the reputation of the finance industry.

International Business Companies (BVI IBC's)

British Virgin Islands corporations or BVI IBCs, incorporated under the International Business Companies Act No.8 of 1984 shows steady growth, bringing the number of companies registered under the act to over 450,000.

The British Virgin Islands International Business Companies Act No.8 of 1984's object is to provide the legislative framework for companies wishing to transact international activities from a tax exempt, secure and confidential environment. The British Virgin Islands provides a highly professional infrastructure with a competitive advantage over most off-shore jurisdictions. Companies can re-domicile from other jurisdictions to the British Virgin Islands. Also, British Virgin Islands off-shore companies or British Virgin Islands IBC's have the flexibility to re-domicile out of the British Virgin Islands. Take advantage of this popular and extensively used form of company with a flexible structure to suit your everyday need.