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Anguilla in Global

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Anguilla Overview

Contributed by WEBSTER

Anguilla is a zero tax jurisdiction. It officially separated from the islands of St Kitts and Nevis on 19 December 1980 and became a separate British dependent territory. The local economy thrives on high-end tourism and the financial services industry, as well as fishing. The official language is English.

Anguilla covers an area of 35 square miles. It is 16 miles long and, at the widest point, three miles across. Anguilla is the most north-eastern of the Caribbean Leeward Islands and is located east of Puerto Rico and six miles north of the French/Dutch island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. The average temperature in Anguilla is 80 °F (27 °C) and the average rainfall is 35 inches per year.

The capital of Anguilla is called The Valley and it is located near the centre of the island, adjacent to Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport and 15 minutes from both the main ferry terminal in Blowing Point and the main seaport in Road Bay. Anguilla trades in both the Eastern Caribbean dollar (which is a strong and stable currency) and the US dollar, with the exchange rate fixed at XCD2.70 to USD1.

Anguilla historically enjoyed a very low inflation rate. This changed in the middle of the last decade when the boom in Anguilla’s economy had drastic effects on the country’s rate of inflation, which was recorded as 8.4% in 2006 and which has remained high ever since. This was due, in part, to the universal increase in oil prices in 2006 which led to increased costs for fuel and other imports. Increased spending and burgeoning construction were contributory factors and the subsequent global economic crisis further contributed to the economy's difficulties. Notwithstanding these facts, at present the tourism industry, financial services industry and construction industry appear to be improving.

Government 

Anguilla is a politically stable country. The Anguilla Constitution Order was enacted on 1 April 1982 and amended in 1990. The government comprises executive, legislative and judicial branches. As Anguilla is a British overseas territory, the Chief of State is the English monarch, who appoints a Governor to represent the throne. Elections for the Assembly (seven elected members) are held every five years. The most recent election was held in April 2015. Six of the seven elected members all belong to the same party (the Anguilla United Front, which succeeds the Anguilla United Movement, which was in power from 2010 to 2015). The seventh member elected in 2015 was Pam Webster, principal of WEBSTER, who stood as an Independent candidate.

Anguilla Legal System 

Anguilla is served by the High Court, whose judges are provided by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Justice. Anguilla law firms provide high-quality legal services to clients all over the world.

The Anguilla legal system is based on English common law in accordance with the Anguilla Constitution. It is administered by the Magistrate’s Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Justice. There is a final right of appeal to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom. The Attorney General is accountable to the Governor.

Financial Services Industry 

Anguilla is a vibrant financial services jurisdiction, both in the public and private sectors, with a highly skilled, growing, professional financial services infrastructure. Anguilla began to develop a financial services industry following the 1993 Mokoro Report, which concluded that Anguilla's offshore financial services were a natural concomitant to the tourism industry. The result of this was an extensive legislative reform programme, culminating in the 1994 enactment of legislation designed to encourage the development of a well-regulated offshore financial services industry. The significant growth in government revenues earned from the financial services sector in recent years is a testament to the success of the policies to date. There are ambitious plans for the future and Anguilla has made significant strides, within the past few years, in its efforts to position itself as a major player in the international financial services arena.

The Financial Services Commission commenced operations on 2 February 2004. The commission allows Anguilla to meet international standards in the structure and administration of its financial services regulatory body. Anguilla’s zero tax environment, together with its reputation as being a discreet, ethical and well-regulated jurisdiction, makes it attractive to potential investors as a quality offshore jurisdiction.

Anguilla also has an online company registration network, known as ACORN, which enables companies to be established and maintained in Anguilla in a fast and efficient manner. Once all documentation has been submitted, a company can be incorporated in 24 hours.

Employment 

To hire non-Anguillian nationals, it is necessary to establish that the position cannot effectively be filled by an Anguillian national or a naturalised citizen. If it is established that a non-Anguillian national is the best candidate for the position, they must be granted a work permit by the government of Anguilla prior to commencing employment.

Real Estate 

Land and property in Anguilla is open for purchase to both Anguillian nationals and non-Anguillian nationals, who are referred to as 'aliens'. Aliens purchasing land need to obtain an Alien Landholding Licence as an individual or as a corporation.