British Virgin Islands

Population: 
28,000
Language: 
English
Capital: 
Roadtown in Tortola
Location: 
Within the Virgin Islands Archipelago east of Puerto Rico

With all due respect to the Arawak Indians and the great Christopher Columbus it was probably Sir Richard Branson who put the British Virgin Islands on the world map after he purchased Nectar Island.  

British Virgin Islands is distinguished from its US and Spanish neighbours by its history although there are many similarities. In total BVI consists of 60 small islands, the largest of which are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegarda and Jost Van Dyke. Roadtown in Tortola is the capital and the hub of the territory with over 80% of the population based there. Many of the inhabitants are migrants working in the Financial Services industry, as BVI is one of the major centres for Offshore Business in the world.

Offshore Business and Tourism make the biggest contribution to the economy with over 50% of Government revenue coming from Offshore licences alone. Once labelled as a tax haven the authorities have gone to great length to dismiss the image with full tax exchange disclosure and international compliance.

The islands are hugely popular within the sailing world and although some locations are small, they have a vibrant and busy community revolving around sailing. Regattas are held throughout the year and many overseas real estate buyers have been wooed by the sailing facilities and opportunities. Property prices vary considerably depending on the location and type of property, but condos in marinas start at around US$375,000 and villas can go as high as your pocket allows. You can even follow the example of the Virgin Atlantic Guru and buy an island, as there are plenty available.

Many of the migrants rent property providing an excellent rental return, but the better-paid semi-permanent employees eventually purchase and many stay long-term because they love the serenity and the beauty of the environment. Migrants are classed as Non Belongers and as such they have to apply for a Non Belongers Land Holding License to buy land or property. Overall property taxes and fees are low, but there is 12% Property Transfer Tax when selling.

BVI sounds exotic, remote and colonial and it is. However, if you love sailing and you want to enjoy life in an idyllic tropical setting it could fulfil your dreams. The same could be said if you are transferred to an Offshore Company in BVI-it’s certainly not the worst place in the world to be sent!  

EDWARD CHILDS HIGHLIGHTS STRONG RECOVERY IN BVI

By the end of the first quarter of 2015, the economic roller coaster recovery continues with almost as many downs as ups. There is now clear air between the recovery of the economy in America and the more languid performance of the European markets. As the Federal Reserve finishes its own QE (Quantitative Easing) programme and may be looking to raise base interest rates during the year, so the European Central Bank is just starting its own QE, somewhat late to the starting gate, with its purchase of bonds.

 

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