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Caricom Associate Members2

British Virgin Islands

Caricom associate members2 - The British Virgin Island's Motto is Vigilate ("Be Watchful")

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) archipelago is comprised of approximately sixty (60) islands, rocks and cays.

These islands are located in the north eastern Caribbean Sea between 18° 20' North Latitude and 64° 30' West Longitude. The BVI is situated 60 miles East of Puerto Rico and North East of the USVI at the Eastern end of the Greater Antilles.

Brief History

The territory was originally inhabited by Caribs and Arawaks. In 1648, the Dutch established the first permanent European community. In 1666, British planters took control of the islands which became a British colony in 1672.

A ministerial system of government was introduced in 1967.

Economic summary

The economy, one of the most stable and prosperous in the Caribbean, is highly dependent on tourism, generating an estimated 45% of the national income. An estimated 820,000 tourists, mainly from the US, visited the islands in 2005.

In the mid-1980s, the government began offering offshore registration to companies wishing to incorporate in the islands, and incorporation fees now generate substantial revenues. Roughly 400,000 companies were on the offshore registry by yearend 2000.

The adoption of a comprehensive insurance law in late 1994, which provides a blanket of confidentiality with regulated statutory gateways for investigation of criminal offenses, made the British Virgin Islands even more attractive to international business

Livestock raising is the most important agricultural activity; poor soils limit the islands' ability to meet domestic food requirements. Because of traditionally close links with the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has used the US dollar as its currency since 1959.

Airport: Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (Beef Island)

Status: Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom; internal self-governing

Capital: Road Town

Area: 153 sq km (59 sq ml)

Population: 24,004 (July 2008 estimate)

Currency: United States Dollar

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Business Hours

Commercial:  8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Monday to Friday

Government:  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday


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National Holidays

Caricom associate members2 - National Holidays: New Years Day (1 January); H. Lavity Stoutt's Birthday (1 March); Commonwealth Day (8 March) ; Good Friday; Easter Monday; Whit Monday; Sovereign's Birthday;  Territory Day; Festival Monday, Festival Tuesday, Festival Wednesday  (first Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in August); St. Ursula's Day (October); Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December) 

Holidays falling during the week/Sunday will be observed on the Monday. 

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