In a statement following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, the British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE has made it clear that restoration of the Islands’ economy will be a priority alongside ensuring requisite humanitarian aid.
The Premier has pointed to the resilience and spirit of the BVI people saying “We may be momentarily down, but we are certainly not out.”
The Premier also addressed the challenges facing the business and financial services industry. However, pointing to the co-operation of the private sector, he said: “Many overseas offices have come together to support the BVI and work out the best way of continuing to provide vital business services remotely until the BVI is in a position to bring them substantively back on Island. We are incredibly grateful for the contribution they are making and the efforts being made to help this part of the BVI economy get back on its feet”.
He noted that some offices belonging to the business and finance sector survived, as did the BVI Financial Services Commission, which houses other services such as the corporate registry.
The BVI Financial Services Commission also today announced that full functionality on its online company registration portal VIRRGIN has been restored after being down following last week’s hurricane.
Work is also on-going to address the issues regarding legal and related services out of the BVI and the functioning of the BVI-based Commercial Division of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
Commenting, Lorna Smith, OBE, Interim Executive Director of BVI Finance, said: “The BVI’s international business and finance centre has been damaged, but key elements including the BVI Financial Services Commission, have survived and are intact. We are working closely with our private sector partners to ensure that a level of normalcy is resumed to business services as soon as possible. Given the international nature of the businesses located in the BVI, most have been able to call upon their international networks for support and the delivery of services.
“We will work tirelessly to ensure that this critical component of our economy is up and running as soon as possible.”