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DPM adresses banking tech conference

Addressing a banking technology conference this week, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said that the government aims to encourage entrepreneurial ventures and attract more financial institutions to the jurisdiction. 

Friday, July 21, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017

DPM adresses banking tech conference

Pictured: Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest brings remarks at the RBC Digital Banking Solutions for Business Success seminar at Atlantis, July 19, 2017. (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel Sr.)

Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest has said that the government has a fundamental mandate to improve the lives of citizens and those who live in The Bahamas.

“We want to create decent employment opportunities for them. We want to ensure that they have the opportunity to become owners in their society and flex their entrepreneurial muscles,” DPM Turnquest said.

Speaking at the RBC Digital Banking Solutions for Business Success seminar at Atlantis Paradise Island, July 19, 2017, he added: “We want our business people to have access to capital, and to be supported by institutions such as a Credit Bureau to help them make better decisions.”

“We want to have a law abiding and safe community. We want to have the best educated and skilled workforce to compete regionally and globally.”

The Finance Minister also noted that the government wants to have a legal and regulatory environment that creates the platform for The Bahamas to be the jurisdiction of choice and to have efficient operations which make doing business easy, yet compliant, in the country.

“We wish to have the technological investment that makes life convenient and business transactions effortless.”

“As an important step, for example, we have amalgamated the payment of a number of government taxes within the Department of Inland Revenue in my Ministry, which is equipped with an online portal for ease of business.”

He said the government is also ensuring that its operations are transparent and conducted with integrity so that the business community has improved clarity and confidence in their dealings with government.

DPM Turnquest explained that as the government increases its overall competitiveness, it wants to entice financial institutions, to return more of their back office operations to The Bahamas, expanding their local footprint to include headquarters for major divisions.

“We want to ensure that mind and management continues to grow here and that opportunities continue to exist for Bahamians to learn the complexity of the banking, trust and security industries, while adding tremendous value to your clients.”

He said: “We welcome the opportunity to engage RBC in this regard and solicit your recommendations on how we might tweak our legislative and operating environment to attract other blue chip institutions such as RBC, to our shores.”

He explained that technology brings opportunities for innovation, creativity and efficiency as well as there are tremendous new possibilities available for business and new areas to improve business productivity.

However, the DPM said it must also be understood that an increasingly digitized world also brings with it new opportunities for abuse.

“Indeed, for trust to exist in the financial sector, our sector must keep up with the attempts of those who wish to cause mischief! And so hand in hand with business innovations, must also be cyber security advances.”

He said the government reaffirms its commitment to aggressively moving in the direction of a Smart Archipelago.

The DPM said Houlin Zhao, the secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union, the UN’s body for technology, has agreed to partner with the government to establish New Providence as a Smart Island, and the government has expanded this concept to the entire country.

“This means that the government will be strengthening the legislative environment for an increasingly more digitized Bahamas. We will be investing in infrastructure to support this environment and also in training in the skills needed to master a digitized Bahamas,” DPM Turnquest said.

DPM adresses banking tech conference

Pictured: The Royal Bank of Canada held a Digital Banking Solutions for Business Success seminar at Atlantis, July 19, 2017. (BIS Photo/Raymond A.Bethel Sr.)

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis toured the Baha Mar resort this week with several government ministers along with Baha Mar president Graeme Davis.

Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, addressed the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Freeport, Grand Bahama, July 21, 2017. Read his remarks here.

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