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BFSB head: Bahamas brand needs greater visibility

Speaking at the Bahamas Business Outlook conference last week, chief executive officer of the Bahamas Financial Services Board Aliya Allen said that The Bahamas needs to put a greater emphasis on marketing to enhance its reputation on the global stage. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Bahamas needs to improve its visibility if it is to become a world-renowed financial hub, according to chief executive officer of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) Aliya Allen, who says a greater emphasis on marketing would help the sector compete internationally.

“The perception of The Bahamas is not as positive as the reputation on the ground,” she said referring to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) produced by Z/Yen Group, which showed that, while The Bahamas ranked highly, the country’s reputation did not reflect this. “That is a question of visibility, a question of marketing and a question of perception.”

Speaking at the Bahamas Business Outlook held at the Wyndam Resort Nassau last week, Allen stressed the importance of perception in a very competitive landscape saying: “It is powerful enough to drive business to our shores.”

She went on to suggest that greater innovation in the sector, bringing in skilled professionals from other countries, and investment in new products, such as SMART Funds, could enhance the country’s marketability. “It is important that we remain a breeding ground for innovation; constantly developing new products to meet market needs. The benefit of having international expertise within your borders enables a free flow of ideas and fosters innovation.”

“The Bahamas is extremely fortunate—we are the beneficiaries of man-made and natural advantages. Improving upon these platforms is key to staying ahead of the game.”

Speaking of challenges facing the sector this year, the BFSB head said tax regulation would continue to be an issue.

“Regulation such as tax continues to be a major driver and shaper of the financial world. The question of who was paying their fair share was probably one of the biggest stories of 2012. Tax became a hot button issue.”

The BFSB has focused heavily on international markets over the past year, with trade missions to London, Geneva, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. According to Allen, the country already has a positive standing in Latin America, but there is still work to be done in Asia, which is an emerging market.


Convenient, relatively affordable, and teeming with activities for kids, The Bahamas is always a popular choice for families. In a list of child-friendly destinations, Family Vacation Clinic–an online family travel planning guide–has placed the island nation in the top three.

The government is looking to begin discussions on what policies to implement once the Hawksbill Creek Agreement tax concessions in Grand Bahama come to an end in 2015. Watch a ZNS news report here.

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