13 November 2013


Government of the Virgin Islands

The Government of the Virgin Islands today announced the appointment of Ms. Elise Donovan as Director of the BVI House Asia, the BVI’s Asia Pacific regional office, effective January 2014.

“As we continue to deepen our commercial footprint in Asia, Ms. Donovan will play a crucial role in promoting the BVI business in Asia-Pacific and in supporting the financial services industry and its growth in the region,” said Dr. D. Orlando Smith, Premier of the British Virgin Islands.

Ms. Donovan will take over the post from the current interim director Mrs. Lorna Smith. As the new Director, Ms. Donovan will promote BVI’s financial services, represent the BVI in a diplomatic setting, uphold BVI’s voice with the region’s government authorities, strengthen economic and political cooperation regionally and internationally, and build cultural and educational links in the Asia-Pacific.

Ms. Donovan has a wealth of experience in international affairs, international political economies, diplomacy and public relations. She has worked in the BVI Government and the BVI Financial Services Commission. Ms. Donovan is currently the Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre, where she is responsible for promoting and marketing the BVI financial services industry globally.

Ms. Donovan holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Carleton University, Ottawa and Columbia University, New York.

About BVI House Asia

BVI House Asia was established in Hong Kong in September 2013 to meet the growing demand for closer ties with the jurisdiction, particularly in the Greater China region. Currently, more than 40 percent of BVI financial services business is from Asia. BVI House Asia is committed to expanding and deepening the British Virgin Islands’ footprint in Asia Pacific with a focus on financial services.

In Asia Pacific, The British Virgin Islands provides a wide range of services including: asset protection, property holding, financial management, trading, copyrighting, bespoke trust services, and investment business. The BVI is also known for providing an efficient, 24-hour turnaround for formation of the widely used Company.


British Virgin Islands picks Hong Kong to be its Asia 

Small Islands Demand U.N. Protection

Sea level rise threatens Raolo island in the Solomon Islands. Credit: Catherine Wilson/IPS
Sea level rise threatens Raolo island in the Solomon Islands. 
Credit: Catherine Wilson/IPS

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 11 2013 (IPS) - Threatened by rising seas, some of the world’s small island developing states (SIDS) are demanding that the U.N.’s new set of Sustainable Development Goals place a high priority on the protection of oceans and marine resources.

A growing number of SIDS, including Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Maldives, Tonga, Nauru and Kiribati, are making a strong case for a stand-alone goal for the protection of oceans in the post-2015 development agenda known as the SDGs, which is currently under discussion.

Hassan Hussain Shihab, first secretary of the Maldives diplomatic mission to the U.N., told IPS that oceans are a priority for the Indian Ocean island nation, whose 339,000 citizens are threatened by sea-level rise.

“The establishment of an SDG dedicated to oceans is critical to Maldives as the oceans are our source of life, livelihood and the identity of the people,” he said.

Covering more than 70 percent of our planet’s surface, he said, oceans play a key role in supporting life on earth.