BVI co-chaired Brussels-based OCTA/OECD international tax cooperation meeting

BVI co-chaired Brussels-based OCTA/OECD international tax cooperation meeting

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) co-chaired an international tax cooperation workshop from 29-30 May in Brussels, Belgium, facilitated by the OECD on behalf of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA).

The meeting focused largely on the mechanics of international tax cooperation and covered a range of subjects that included the Global Forum, base erosion and profit shifting inclusive framework, exchange of information on request, automatic exchange of information and the OECD blacklisting process, among other things.

Read more on this link and on this link .

British Virgin Islands news OCTA
Creative industry in British Virgin Islands

Creative industry in British Virgin Islands

Several meetings have been done in British Virgin Islands to discuss different sectors.

  • Television, radio, music and digital media. A TV/radio campaign and industry workshops have been considered a solution to improve this sector.
  • Heritage, museums, theatres. Being BVI the unique Caribbean island with its own history, that could be used as a strengthen for the development of its creative industry. More local books could be placed in schools, considering that youth is a new important path for the growth. Furthermore, fund rising could give the opportunity to implement some other activities to create curiosity around people as the production of short promoting videos to be published on social media or creating sound and light presentations.
  • Fashion, local and traditional crafts. Even if there is some indigenous material in the island and the younger generation’s interest is growing in this sector, there is a lack of awareness about the crafts, design and theatre that takes to the risk of losing traditional craft skills. These issues could be solved through a greater implementation of these topics in the scholar sector, creating e-commerce siting in order to develop international promotion and develop incubators/co-working space.
  • Design and culinary. The design sector should organize a trade show on housing for the business sector and make representations to the government to adopt the development plan to cover the lack of political will and of the building code. The culinary sector, instead, could organize workshops for the business community and for the general public to improve people’s knowledge about this topic.

All members of the industry that contributed to these brain storming sessions expect to continue this planning exercise with the technical assistance of OCTA in order to develop a complete Development Strategy for the creative and cultural industries of BVI.

creative industry British Virgin Islands news
Workshop in BVI

Workshop in BVI

A pilot greenhouse project would be very helpful in the British Virgin islands as it would push farmers to work together. However the availability of water for irrigation could be a serious issue if efforts are not made for ensuring water in quantity and quality. For a pilot greenhouse project it is recommended to preferably use good governmental land with centralised irrigation water. This approach must involve small and young farmers.

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British Virgin Islands agriculture news
Post-hurricane reconstruction policy introduced in BVI

Post-hurricane reconstruction policy introduced in BVI

BVI Building Authority is promoting the following considerations:

• Concrete roof designs will be fast-tracked, pending the existence or inclusion of 8” structure below roof,

• Wooden roofs with separation of main roof and porch roof shall be fast-tracked,

• Roof slope on wooden roofs should be 3:12 pitch minimum, 6 or 7:12 preferred.

The policy provides the following guidelines for reconstruction of roofs, windows, doors and shutters:

• Rafters must be 3” minimum and must be securely fastened to beams and wall plates, hurricane clips and rebar connections must be used

• Plywood decking must be lapped and secured using 2.5” minimum fasteners

• Battens must be secured using 4.5” minimum fasteners 2 per rafter minimum; these must also be spaced in accordance with manufacturer specification for the roof finish;

• Roof finish must be secured according to manufacturer specification. Additional fasteners must be used at eaves, hips and valleys

• Doors and windows should be secured with shutters. Shutters must be carefully installed using manufacturer specifications.

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British Virgin Islands Construction Caribbean news Lizette O. George
The Caribbean after Irma

The Caribbean after Irma

It is the cost of the region’s unimaginable natural beauty that, by the caprice of fate, there is the periodic risk of ruin. There is nothing to be said of this past week’s tragedies that has not yet been said, and our hearts go out to the people who died.What needs to be said is this: the Caribbean will rebuild. Caribbean people: they cannot be defeated. They rebuild, they restore and they live again.

It will not be easy, it may not be quick, but it will happen.

Read more

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British Virgin Islands devastated by Hurricane Irma

British Virgin Islands devastated by Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma caused “devastating” destruction in the British Virgin Islands when it hit the territory. Residents in the British Virgin Islands have seen homes and businesses destroyed by the storm.

The people of the British Virgin Islands are resilient and we are confident we will be able to rebuild –Read more

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Those looking to make donations can send them to the BVI Recovery Fund

 

British Virgin Islands news
OCTA Innovation Issue 23/ 2017 – Team Leader Missions

OCTA Innovation Issue 23/ 2017 – Team Leader Missions

 

Missions to BVI and St. Martin were very short but very engaging and promising. Two meetings with the Premier of British Virgin Islands, honourable Dr. Orlando Smith, and a meeting with the Prime Minister of St. Maarten, honourable William Marlin as well as multiple meetings with innovation directors and key stakeholders, were very fruitful due to the progress of moving from consultations and innovation strategies to actual implementation of the strategies.

Particularly meetings with head of governments and extensive discussions on how to how to implement innovation as well as to make innovation sustainable during and especially after the end of the project. Establishing innovation ecosystem and developing different innovation supporting instruments and enhancing public private partnership have been recognized as priorities.

Read the newsletter.

British Virgin Islands Innovation Missions Lizette O. George newsletter-en Jude Houston Sint Maarten
Mission in the British Virgin Islands

Mission in the British Virgin Islands

Mission of Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, OCTA Innovation Team Leader to the British Virgin Islands from 14th to 16th August 2017 assisted in progressing on different innovation issues on the island. The key innovation person in the British Virgin Islands is Lizette George, Innovation Director for the British Virgin Islands. All meetings and actions have been developed and coordinated by Lizette George.

Honourable Dr. Orlando Smith, Premier and Minister of Finance is known as long-term active promoter of innovation in the British Virgin Islands and in the Overseas Countries and Territories. Premier is very much interested in how to implement systemic innovation and how to develop entrepreneurship by bringing innovation as a driver to the economy.

Brodrick Penn, Permanent Secretary of Premier’s Office discussed with OCTA Innovation Team leader the awarded Pilot Project of Innovative Business Lab (IBL) and how to secure the highest impact of this innovation pilot project. The Innovative Business Lab project will be established and will operate under supervision of National Business Bureau which is a governmental body established under Ministry of Finance.

At Forge, new established privately owned incubator, Meade Malone, CEO of FORGE, has explained policy and business approach of this very new entity which will be opened to entrepreneurs before end of the year. The partnership should be established with IBL as they work in the same area: training and engaging incubators and start-ups.

This mission was the occasion to launch the Innovative Business Lab pilot project. The project is co-funded by the European Union and by the Government of the British Virgin Islands. The project has already received advanced payment and is engaging person to be in charge of the Innovation Business Lab. OCTA Innovation proposed to have a monthly “Mentorship innovative entrepreneur conference call”. The OCTA Innovation mentoring would enable interested entrepreneurs to have contact with the OCTA Innovation Team Leader or another OCTA innovation expert (to be agreed on in advance).

Team leader of Ecorys COSME SME Support Project Huib Poot and Prakaash Rostam his Key Expert SME & Private Sector Development presented the extensive work done on SME and incubation. Indeed a lot of work has been done in the British Virgin Islands and in the region. A significant set of information has been shared, what is enhancing synergy with our project and for benefit of regional Overseas Countries and Territories. Formulation of a Diversification Strategy and Implementation “Strengthening the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises of the OCTs in the Caribbean Region (COSME)” Executive Summary, Strategy and Implementation Plan.

OCTA Innovation Team Leader also met Luce Hodge-Smith, director of Culture for having assistance of short-term expert in creative industry.

The Team within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour: Permanent secretary, Joseph Smith Abbott, Deputy Secretary, and Tessa Smith, Senior Administrative Officer appreciate very much given assistance and support provided in fishery field. Another assistance in agriculture has been discussed.

Joseph Abbott who is a member of the BVI Innovation Board participated in the Innovation Workshop. Joseph Abbott gave appreciated input in innovation ecosystem establishment in the British Virgin Islands. Similar discussions about innovation ecosystem was held also with members of Chamber of Commerce, namely, A. Simon Potter and Louis Potter.

British Virgin Islands news Innovation Missions Lizette O. George
Meeting Premier Dr. Orlando Smith

Meeting Premier Dr. Orlando Smith

The two meetings between Premier of the British Virgin Islands, honourable Dr. Orlando Smith, and Milan Jezic von Gesseneck have shown continuous high interest of head of BVI government in propelling innovation in BVI. Dr. Orlando Smith, in early 2013 as OCTA Chairman has inked the OCTA Innovation project.

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith is very much interested on how to implement systemic innovation and how to develop entrepreneurship by bringing innovation as a driver to the economy and was even keen to eventually open an innovation workshop.

British Virgin Islands news Innovation Missions Lizette O. George
Innovative Business Lab

Innovative Business Lab

Meeting with Brodrick Penn, Permanent Secretary of the Premiers Office, was a great meeting mainly around two aspects. The discussion of the Award of the Pilot Project of Innovative Business Lab was the key theme and how to secure the highest impact of this innovation pilot project. Furthermore discussion was held around the instruments to be implemented to assure innovation to be impregnated into entrepreneurship of BVI.

Kick-off of the pilot project was held. The project has already received advanced payment and has engaged person in charge of Innovative Business Lab. Extensive discussions have taken place on how to move forward.

One initiative which should be of great interest also to other OCTs is the OCTA Innovation mentoring. Webinar meetings or Skype conference calls would happen at least once a month, enabling interested entrepreneurs to have contact with the OCTA Innovation Team Leader or another OCTA innovation expert (to be agreed on in advance).

British Virgin Islands news Innovation Missions Lizette O. George Pilot project