Monday, July 2, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Attracting international business, establishing an arbitration centre, plugging skills gaps and making it easier to do business in The Bahamas, these are the newly created Ministry of Financial Services top priorities, according to the Minister Ryan Pinder.
“We were put in place to enhance the industry [and] to ensure you, as the private sector, have the opportunity to enhance yourselves and your businesses.”
“The Bahamas today faces a number of economic challenges. However, these challenges can be overcome. They can be turned into opportunities to really grow the industry; to go into areas we are not used to. We want to say financial services is not just better in The Bahamas, it is best in The Bahamas.”
“We have a mandate to reform and change the industry,” added the Minister. “We want to make it easier to do business in The Bahamas. We have to be ahead of the game and progressive.”
Making the remarks at a seminar hosted by the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS) recently, the Minister emphasized his focus on expansion of the sector and how this could be achieved through greater marketing efforts and promotional tours in key markets, such as Latin America, Asia and Canada.
“We have to understand what is important in each market and how to attract that business. We have a highly competitive industry. We have to take the approach of excellence; we have to be the best in order to attract the business we want to attract.”
The Minister also spoke of creating an international arbitration centre where business disputes could be resolved quickly and inexpensively, without the burden of resorting to court proceedings. “That is something the international community will be looking for. It is an attractive tool that helps you sell the jurisdiction,” he said.
In August, the Ministry of Financial Services launches its educational initiative to encourage all sectors of the industry to brush up on their skills, which Minister Pinder cited as important for the “advancement of the industry.”
The initative is part of the new department’s six-month plan, which will feed into a five-year strategic business plan. The Minister called on the financial services community to give feedback on the plans and get involved, highlighting his own background in the private sector.
“It is going to take some time, some effort and some cooperation,” he advised seminar attendees. “If we cannot succeed and expand, then I have abandoned my industry and I cannot let that happen.”