Expanding and spurring online activity will be the best pathway to economic recovery for The Bahamas, according to Leno Corporate Services Managing Director of Wealth Solutions Brian Jones, who said an expeditious move to technology solutions could be a silver lining in the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown.
According to Jones, digitalization will allow the country to speed through the recovery process when COVID-19 is no longer a threat.
He added that in the midst of the shutdown, a thriving digital economy would have meant the continuation of commerce outside of brick and mortar operations.
“New fintech and e-commerce businesses, along with the coming national launch of the Sand Dollar, provide platforms and tools for the economy to function more efficiently, as all sorts of business functions and activities can be carried out in a completely virtual environment,” Jones said.
“The Bahamas, like many other countries around the world, must accelerate its national digitalization agenda which can allow us to push the pedal and move with speed when global economic conditions return to normal. The resiliency of the economies in countries such as Estonia are proving that throughout this crisis, digitalization is more crucial now than ever.”
Jones said the country’s shutdown has highlighted the need for money transfer apps and peer-to-peer payment systems.
According to Jones, global crises have in the past spawned startups that solve the problems of the day, which he expects to be an outcome from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We see from looking at history, this is not the first time something like this has happened and it’s also likely that it will not be the last,” Jones said.
“Growth lies in ingenuity and we will also see many startups emerge to solve some of the new problems that have arisen due to the crisis.
“Several of the top unicorn companies in the world today were started during the last major economic downturn over one decade ago.”