The incoming year, 2017, is expected to see some new initiatives towards the development of Anguilla's offshore financial services. As a consequence, these efforts might eventually lead to the sector not only being more regulated, but becoming a second industry to tourism - the current lifeblood of the economy.
That was basically among the expressed desires arising from Industry Day - a joint coming together of the Governor's Office, Government, the Financial Services Commission, Anguilla Finance Ltd., the newly-formed Anguilla Compliance Association and STEP Anguilla.
Governor Christina Scott, who has responsibility for offshore financial services, set the tone for the event held at the Teachers' Resource Centre on December 15. "I think we need to continue to develop a clear long-term vision for Government which continues to uphold the rule of law to provide for a stable, reliable, and safe environment for international business persons and depositors to do their business here in Anguilla," she said. "I think it is fair to say that over the last ten to fifteen years Anguilla has had a history of short and medium term strategies which haven't really added to a longer-term vision... I am really pleased that Executive Council has agreed to take forward a significant piece of work next year. It will be a national economic development plan which will look over the next 20-30 year horizon. I am very pleased that the UK Government will be funding that to the tune of a million EC dollars. I think coming alongside the anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution it is a really important opportunity to look forward on a cross-party and a cross-sector basis. It is important that this group of people here are fully part of that debate... about how the financial services sector can and must devolve if it is to play its part." The Governor added that while Anguilla will continue with a sustainable tourism-based economy, as an important bedrock, there was a need for diversification regarding the financial sector - a matter for debate and discussion next year.