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Premier Anticipates Resistance With Plans For New Revenue Streams

Premier Anticipates Resistance With Plans For New Revenue Streams

Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie has warned that new revenue streams are coming, and may not be popular among residents of the British Virgin Islands.
The Premier made it clear that it is no secret that the territory has to diversify its economy.

“There are many ways that we are looking to diversify the economy. That is one of the reasons why we are working very hard on the VI Shipping Registry because it is going to be a very good, new linkage industry to add into the Financial Services Industry,” he said during the House of Assembly on March 10.

He explained that another area for diversification he is eying is economic substance.

“So there are many areas that we are working on. There are some projections with other areas that we will be bringing forward that we see will be able to help because the only way to get out into this paradigm shift of financial prosperity in the BVI is through innovation, so some of them are not going to be the regular avenues and may be met with some resistance, but we have to press forward nonetheless,” he added.

The Leader of Government’s business was at the time responding to questions posed by Opposition Leader Hon. Marlon Penn on the revenue trends from Financial Services for the last few years.

Hon. Fahie outlined that due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential adverse impact to the financial services industry, it would have been expected that due to all these factors, there would have been a decline in the projected revenues in financial services in 2020.

“Mr. Speaker, the Business Continuity Act was amended in 2020 to allow the Finance Services Industry to continue business in the midst of the pandemics such as COVID-19. This amendment paid dividends as revenue collection for 2020 outperformed the revised projections. During COVID-19, special emphasis was placed on Financial Services among other areas, where many provisions were made to accommodate the industry,” Hon. Fahie stated.

He informed that in 2018, the industry reeled in $230,55,983 in 2019 that figure stood at $205,504,07, and for 2020, $189,750,349.

The Premier reminded the House that there was a revised budget when the health pandemic hit “because we realize that we would have been losing revenue like every country. We would have had to adjust our spending patterns, like every country, because of COVID-19, and we projected lower figures. However, it was less than the regular projected amount for 2020, and of course, that’s because of COVID-19.”

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