The words “Developments” or “Recent Developments” or “New Developments” occur frequently in the titles of talks given at our meetings. “Developments in the Tax Laws of Switzerland” was a topic addressed by Richard Pease and Kamen Troller at the Geneva meeting in 1977. Of course, a hot topic of three decades ago can now seem rather quaint: at that meeting we learnt – and it was no doubt important that we should – that a tax treaty with the United Kingdom was “projected”. Many speakers have given talks with the simple title “New Developments” – Stephen Gray in Cannes in 2003, Roy Saunders in Zurich in 2009; Philip Baker in London in 2005 and Montreux in 2011. Sometimes “Developments” in part of a group title – as in “Developments in the Caribbean and Uruguay” (Antigua, 1992); “New Developments in Key Areas” (Monte-Carlo, 1998); and “New Developments World Wide” (Interlaken, 1999).
We can perhaps, say – with a nod to Heracleitus – that the concept of “development” is inherent in the world we study. It manifests itself in the much used “New Problems: New Solutions” title (Philip Baker in Interlaken in 1999 and in Hong Kong later in that year); Roy Saunders in Nice in 1999; Aparna Nathan in Monte-Carlo in 2000; Stephen Gray in Amsterdam in 2000; Doug Ewens in New Orleans in 2000; Barrie Akin in Seville in 2001). But where we really see that the world changes is when we go back to summaries from many years ago. I see that my younger self told members in Nice in 1976 that IBCs “seem to have attracted little attention to themselves”. At that stage, the BVI IBC had yet to be invented!