Asia Trade Mission-Shanghai - BVI: Asia's International Partner in the Digital Era


 The BVI is an internationally respected financial center connecting markets, facilitating inbound and outbound investment, trade and capital flows. The BVI has been working with Asian businesses since the 1980s and is uniquely positioned to further facilitate economic growth across the region. In spite of the global headwinds, the BVI continues to punch above its weight and remains the leading partner of choice in the Asian market.

According to a report produced by London-based research group Capital Economics - Creating Value: The BVI’s Global Contribution – the BVI mediatesUS$1.5 trillion in assets globally. Two-fifths of these assets are located in Asia, with China and Hong Kong accounting for the lion share, while 75 per cent of Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is made up of companies with direct linkages to the BVI.

Having weathered a plethora of storms, the BVI is The Little Engine that Could, pressing forward with an array of innovations and strategies for success to enhance the experience of its financial services customers globally and its primary market in Asia.

Leaders at the highest levels of the BVI Government, BVI Finance and BVI focused practitioners and experts here in Asia come together for thought-provoking candid high-level conversations on the critical issues and innovations shaping the future of financial services in the BVI and in the Asian market.

Event Agenda

Time: 1:30PM, Friday, June 15th,2018

Venue: Ritz Carlton Shanghai Pudong (Shanghai ifc, 8 Century Avenue, Lujiazui, Pudong)

Hotel Tel: +86-21-2020 1888

Welcome Remarks

              Elise Donovan, Director, BVI House Asia

Keynote Speech –BVI: Leading from the Front

Speaker: Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Premier & Minister of Finance

Premier Smith will examine recent developments in the BVI and will outline how the BVI leads from the front to help millions of Asians and Chinese realise their financial goals and the role the jurisdiction plays in foreign direct investment in China, the Asia Pacific and globally. Premier Smith will also address recent external developments, most noticeably a move by the UK Parliament in relation to the British Overseas Territories, and how the BVI is addressing these.

Panel - Why Choose the BVI?

Moderator: Ms. Elise Donovan, Director, BVI House Asia

Panellists: Ms. Kristy Calvert, Partner, Harneys

  1. Robert C. Searle, Partner, Campbells
  2. Carson Wen, Founder and Chairman, Bank of Asia, British Virgin Islands and BOA Financial Group,

Hong Kong, China

BVI Business Companies have been used successfully by Chinese business leaders, state owned enterprises and individuals for the last 30 years, so much so that the BVI is among the top five jurisdictions for inward foreign direct investment into China and the top ten for outbound direct investment. Why have Chinese business leaders made the BVI the jurisdiction of choice for the last quarter century? What unique qualities does the jurisdiction offer to the Chinese market? Are they fully aware of the BVI’s capabilities?

A panel of experts will discuss new BVI developments in light of current trends in Asia. They will also discuss the structures for investment, succession planning, and asset protection, as well as the appeal to family offices in Asia.

Presentation - Open for Business: BVI’s New Digital Bank

Speaker: Mr. Carson Wen, Founder and Chairman, Bank of Asia, British Virgin Islands and BOA Financial Group, Hong Kong, China

Bank of Asia has been established in the BVI to address the growing needs of offshore companies and their owners. It will provide banking services to the BVI and other offshore companies as well as trusts and individuals from around the world. It is domiciled in the BVI, but customers will be able to access its digital platform from anywhere in the world with a smart device or computer. Similarly, transactions can be executed online 24/7. Mr. Wen will discuss these issues and others, including the bank’s cutting-edge digital platform and state of the art know-your-customer (KYC) process.

Panel –BVI the Ideal Vehicle for Structuring on the Belt and Road

Moderator: Mr. Kenneth Morgan, Head of Business Development and Marketing, BVI Finance Limited

Panellists: Ms. Anna Chong, Partner, Conyers Dill & Pearman

  1. Sherrie Dai, Managing Director, Vistra China
  2. Ashley Davies, Partner, Campbells
  3. Vicky Lord, Partner, Harneys' Litigation

The Chinese Government has a “Go Global” strategy and a Belt & Road initiative with a lot of potential opportunities for China’s outward strategy. What is the BVI to be doing in terms of structures to support this outward strategy?

Panel members will focus on investment opportunities for Chinese outbound investment through Central Asia and into ASEAN in various sectors – energy, infrastructure, mining, agriculture – and how the BVI can assist in structuring investment in these sectors. The panel will also provide notable examples of use of BVI structures in major business deals.

Presentation – Meeting the Needs of China’s Wealthy

Speaker: Ms. Kristy Calvert, Partner, Harneys

Asia and China’s burgeoning middle class is focused on acquiring wealth to buy real estate, have their children admitted to the best universities, and provide their families with high quality healthcare. BVI focused practitioners advise them on strategies and provides vehicles such as Vista Trusts, Private Trust Companies, and Family Office services to help them meet their goals. The speaker will discuss these and other BVI services in the context of contemporary Chinese and Asian family issues and financial objectives.

Presentation –Charting a Course through the International Landscape

Speaker: Mr. Kenneth Morgan, Head of Business Development and Marketing, BVI Finance Limited

The global taxation and transparency space pushed by the OECD, the EU, NGOs, EU parliamentarians, etc., is frenetic with BEPS, CRS, UBO, etc. What is the BVI’s strategy for meeting and adhering to the demands emanating from these multiple regimes driving the anti-offshore agenda? How is the BVI balancing competing demands of compliance while remaining competitive in the market? Will the BVI maintain “privacy and confidentiality of its structures” which is highly valued in Asia? The speaker will dissect the issues.

In conversation with Fintech expert

Speaker: Ms. Elise Donovan, Director, BVI House Asia

In the digital era of technological convergence, there will be full-fledged integration of financial services and technology, some very likely disruptive. Governments are being innovative and evaluating ways disruptive technologies can work to create something new and greater.

Presentation-BVI 2.0 – Micro Business Companies

Speakers: Mr. Greg Boyd, Partner, Harneys Corporate Group

             Burton Chalwell Jr. , Director (Asia Representative), BVI Financial Services Commission (HK) Limited

Small and micro businesses are a critical part of driving growth and innovation in the global economy. In most countries they account for more than 50 percent of economic activity. Yet corporate laws and corporate vehicles are mostly geared to Fortune 1000 size operations. In short, the laws are too complicated and onerous for small and micro businesses. Consequently, most operate without the legal protection, such as provided by the traditional BVI Business Company. The BVI has pioneered a solution – The BVI Micro Business Company (MBC). Greg Boyd will discuss why the MBC, the BVI’s latest technological innovation, is the world’s simplest and most modern corporate vehicle.

Presentation – BVI: Still Standing Bold & Confident?

Speaker: Ms. Sherrie Dai, Managing Director, Vistra China

Vistra’s Offshore 2020 report has ranked the BVI consistently for the last seven years as the leading offshore jurisdiction globally with an “embedded brand” in Asia. With their tentacles spread around the world in 40 countries, Vistra’s Group Managing Director is strategically positioned to provide analysis of the key

trends and developments globally, and specifically within the broader offshore industry. Is offshore still a viable option? Will the BVI maintain its pole position? The speaker gives the analysis and predictions for the future.


Brief Closing Remarks

Speaker: Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton, Minister for Health and Social Development, British Virgin Islands



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