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box for the new Robot Consumption Tax that you will be personally responsible for, following its hastily planned introduction, based on a not-yet global standard. You can discharge the tax from your flip-coin credits and report immediately to all 32 of the international taxing authorities where you transact digitally. Please pay your griduse bill, copyright surcharge and exit. After you’ve scanned the rest of this article of course. We will apologise now for that abrupt command, in hope that it will help you develop your emotional intelligence predictive readers more widely.


The 2030 Horizon: Look Right, Look Left, Look Right Again


ertain industries and sectors have been fundamentally changed or completely displaced, while others sit anxiously awaiting their fate. Technological advancements have played a very central role in these changes of course, but they also coincide with what appears to be a wider dynamic of more disparate views on globalisation, a lack of geo-political cohesion and new behavioural patterns in society itself. Brexit is perhaps an example of how things can play out when there is a confluence of the above ingredients. So if we look ahead to 2030 as a line on the horizon, what can the British Virgin Islands (BVI) financial services sector most likely expect to see then? How much clarity is likely, what are the opportunities and where


JULY 2019

will we be? While many items swirl around us in these current at times confusing winds of change, we can hold tight to some of the more certain and fundamental global economic assumptions, which are highly unlikely to change within that timeframe. They will stay fairly rigid while some of the more transitory elements blowing around in the wind at the moment will probably not even feature on the horizon at all, despite their current presence and apparent prominence. We will look at the 2030 horizon in fairly macro terms, but at the same time also drill down in a few areas which are currently topical. But let’s start with robots! DEAR # ROBOT #

You are quite right to think that our human readers have, with a probability of over 50%, already decided that the title is a geographic reference to east and west, with the BVI as our baseline reference point. It’s not a reference to crossing a road, although some measured caution does also apply as well. It is also correct to assume, dear robot, that we are at ground level, not hovering, and facing due north. More on that later, but while you’re on, between now and 2030 please make an appropriate annual provision in your self-accounting locked-

By 2030, it seems unlikely that we’ll have robots or avatars actively working for us just yet, but we will have figured out, in very significant ways, how to better channel, organise and regulate data flows and usage. Automation will improve the speed and accuracy of almost all processes that our industry undertakes, but at a fairly major cost. By 2030, we will still be bearing the cost of that advancement, as investment costs are amortised over that period. Those firms who have invested and are playing a longer term game can look forward to the unit cost of production (service) reducing significantly in the 2030 to 2040 period. Profit margins will be squeezed before then, but expand beyond 2030, so there is a very meaningful destination to get to. Firms and we dare say jurisdictions which do not invest in automation to satisfy clients’ increased demands for speed, accuracy, convenience and digital interaction in all things, will most likely face extinction. Consolidation amongst registered agents, law firms, accountancy practices and industry-wide firms more generally seems inevitable. The BVI has invested very heavily in technology over many years via the Corporate Registry and the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (BOSS). The prudence of that investment, which we do not always appreciate, will become widely recognised and applauded in the lead up to 2030, particularly as BOSS-like systems become adopted by several other countries, including major ones, and begin to speak to each other with built-in systemic defaults and protections. Corporate Registries will probably not be speaking to each other by 2030, out of choice, but our ability to plug into other interfaces, easily, if needed, is a major plus for us. Our core operating systems are very fit for 2030 purposes and that fact alone should not be underestimated at all. The ground work has been done and it leaves us in a strong, adaptable position.

Profile for Business BVI

Business BVI July 2019  

The theme for the July 2019 edition is ‘A View Beyond the Horizon’, which is intended to reflect where the territory is post 2017, while at...

Business BVI July 2019  

The theme for the July 2019 edition is ‘A View Beyond the Horizon’, which is intended to reflect where the territory is post 2017, while at...