Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie says that with the United Kingdom's exit of the European Union, the BV will be looking to independently capitalise on international trade opportunities presented by Brexit.
"Your Government has also been clear with the UK that the BVI would like to explore opportunities for international trade presented by Brexit as the UK seeks out new trading partners," Premier Fahie said in a statement ahead of the official exit on January 31, 2020.
EU remains the focus - Premier Fahie
"To ensure the BVI’s voice is heard, I will travel to London in March to attend the upcoming UK-OT Joint Ministerial Council where I will reiterate our interests. Ladies and gentleman, Your Government has also taken other steps to ensure the BVI maintains our relationship with the EU," he said.
He said the BVI London Office will continue to serve as the EU Representation Office to give the Territory a voice in various EU institutions and among the individual EU Member States.
According to Premier Fahie, "Central Government will also remain fully engaged with the EU on critical issues such as the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions on which BVI remains on the grey list," and that government continues to fund legislative solutions to the matter.
He noted that the Territory will also continue its membership in the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) as an Associate Member to maintain a political presence in Brussels, noting that it is more critical than ever to collaborate with French, Dutch and Danish Territories to lobby in the European Parliament and among other stakeholders where shared interests are at stake.
Hon Fahie also indicated that the EU has been engaged on prospects for development cooperation as a Third Country Jurisdiction, specifically as partners of the EU Outermost Regions in the Caribbean that include Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Martin and French Guiana.
"We have a good track record of cooperation with these neighbours on sustainable development and will endeavour to continue partnering on projects."
According to the Premier, associate membership in CARIFORUM has been requested, which is the Caribbean’s negotiating body on EU matters. He said once the CARIFORUM Associate Membership is approved, the VI will further engage the EU on various matters involving trade and development alongside Caribbean neighbours.