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Anguilla

Basic Information

Area: 102 km²

Calling code: +1 264

Population: 13,477

Official Language: English

Time zone: (UTC-4), Local time: 23:49

Overview

Anguilla is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom and is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. It has a total population of approximately 11,500 people and its capital is the town of The Valley. English is the official language.

There have been a variety of political changes in Anguilla in recent history. In 1967, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis were united in a self-governing state. However, Anguilla withdrew from this union shortly after it was established and returned to British colonial rule in 1971. In 1980, Anguilla was officially separated from St. Kitts and Nevis and 2 years later the Anguilla Constitution Order gave Anguilla significant control over its internal affairs.

The British monarch is represented on the island by a governor who is ultimately responsible for defence, external affairs, internal security, the public service, the judiciary, and the audit. The governor also presides over the Executive Council and the House of Assembly. The House of Assembly is comprised of 11 members including 2 ex officio members, 2 members appointed by the governor and 7 other members elected every 5 years by universal adult suffrage. The Executive Council is made up of 2 ex officio members, the chief minister and up to 3 other ministers appointed by the governor from the elected members of the House of Assembly.

Anguilla’s principal industries include fishing, fish processing, salt mining, boat manufacture, construction, tourism and offshore financial services. The tourism sector in particular is responsible for the vast majority of economic output and, in the medium term, will continue to be the driving force of the economy.

In recent years, the government of Anguilla has been placing considerable emphasis on developing the offshore financial service sector and, in 1994, an extensive package of financial services legislation was enacted. However, this sector of the economy is not without its problems. In June 2000, the OECD identified Anguilla as one of 35 ‘tax havens’ believed to encourage large-scale tax evasion and money laundering operations. Since then there has been substantial effort put into meeting OECD demands in relation to this and thereby avoid economic sanctions.

The main international gateways into and out of Anguilla are located in Antigua, Puerto Rico and St Maarten and there are regular flights to these destinations from Anguilla’s Wallblake Airport, which is located in The Valley. Flights between Anguilla and San Juan in Puerto Rico take about an hour, as do flights to Antigua, while St Maarten can be reached in just 7 minutes. There is also a frequent ferry service to and from St Maarten. Flights between Anguilla and London, including stopovers, take between 8 and 10 hours. Los Angeles and New York can be reached in 10 hours and 6 hours respectively.
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