13 Sep Despite Dorian Damage, Bahamas Wants You To Know They Are Still Open for Business
Despite the recent passing and devastation of two major islands by Hurricane Dorian two weeks ago, the country’s Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration, the Hon. Elsworth Johnson, told industry leaders that the country is still ‘open for business.’
Mr. Johnson made the statement while addressing the Association of International Bank & Trust (AIBT) Companies, September 11, 2019 at Baha Mar Convention Centre. The theme for this year’s Nassau conference is “Evolution: Substance, Transparency & Opportunity.”
“Like the recent hurricane, the Bahamas Financial Services industry has weathered many storms, but we will stand. Today is no different. We are, indeed, going through an evolution, not only for the financial services industry but also for the country’s economic future. One that gives us the opportunity to chart our own course and shape our own future. Thus, your theme is most appropriate.”
The Minister said that for continual sustainability, his Ministry is embarking on developing several initiatives with the AIBT and the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB).
As it relates to the country’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index, the Minister said that steady progress is being made but the process takes time. “Things are improving in technology and there are government-wide initiatives across all departments to streamline processes, increase efficiency and alleviate red tape.”
With reference to the Central Bank, he said the amendments have been made to legislation concerning the process of ‘Know Your Customer,’ Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
Immigration matters are also being addressed. The Ministry of Financial Services, recognizing the importance of a modern, progressive immigration framework for the growth of the financial services sector, has developed a new tax residency program.
“It is anticipated that this program will serve as a gateway to more permanent residence options for high net worth individuals and investors,” he said.
He also said that the government would continue to seek new business for the country via promotional tours and conferences, which have been scheduled through to the end of the year.