In light of the European Union (EU) embarrassingly killing its own heavy criticized anti-money laundering blacklist proposal, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Chester Cooper, who is also the shadow minister of finance, said it would better serve the country’s financial services sector if a proactive approach to the EU was taken.
Cooper encouraged government to create alliances with “friends in big countries and counterparts in small countries” in light of the EU’s rejection of the European Commission’s most recent proposal to blacklist 23 countries, including The Bahamas, for lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.
“As for the EU, I note that the EU itself rejected its latest blacklist that included The Bahamas,” he said.
“There needs to be some recalibration on how we approach these issues.
“The outright rejection of this list by the USA and its territories and the Saudis has effectively rendered the list useless, and created some credibility issues, it appears.
“I guess the EU ran into a nation in the United States that was willing to use its power to effectively delist the list itself.
“I would like to think that it would serve as a lesson to the EU, but given their penchant for ‘running out’, as the young people would say, they will likely be back.
“Perhaps our prime minister is planning another trip to speak to the EU, though we know that didn’t work out so well last time.
“I encourage him to leave it to the experts, the people who actually know what they are doing.
“We must be proactive in our negotiations.
“Hire the best experts in DC and Brussels.”
“Focused, impactful international interventions where we advance the interest of The Bahamas rather than with bloated meaningless trips abroad where we talk down our country and call Bahamian people corrupt.”
Cooper was contributing to the Investment Funds Bill, 2019, which passed in the House unanimously yesterday.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News