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British Virgin Islands
Profile
Head of Government
National Anthem
National Holidays
National Symbols
Motto:
Vigilate ("Be Watchful")
 
Location:
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.
 
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.
 
Elections:

Last election - 2007

Next elections - 2011

 
Ruling Party:

Virgin Islands Party (VIP)

 
Major Political Parties:
Virgin Islands Party (VIP), National Democratic Party (NDP)
 
Head of State:
His Excellency David Peary, Governor
 
Head of Government:

Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE

Premier 

Elected: November 2011
 
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 km2(59 miles2)
 
Population:
24,004 (July 2008 estimate)
 
Currency
United States Dollar
 
GDP
$941 million (2006)
 
GDP Per Capita:
$38,500 (2004 est.)
 
Total Exports:
US$25.3 million (2002)
 
Total Imports:
US$187 million (2002 est.)
 
Intra-Regional Exports:
Not available
 
Intra-Regional Imports:
Not available
 
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
 
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.


 

Date of CARICOM Membership:
2 July 1991
 
National Anthem:
 
God Save the Queen
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.
 
Highest National Award:
BVI Badge of Honour
 
Favourite Dishes:
Fish and Fungi
 
National Symbols: