The Bahamas remains the envy of international financial centers despite its challenges, Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry Elsworth Johnson said yesterday, adding that the country’s delisting from the European Union’s (EU) grey list has brought a sigh of relief.
“We have 400,000 people, but we are punching above our weight. Where we sit, there are people who would want to remove that in their jurisdictions. So, we have to continue to encourage young persons to come into the industry, continue to train and continue to have those persons around the world – some of the best and brightest minds – to come to The Bahamas,” Johnson told Guardian Business.
“For those that are practicing here it is a sigh of relief. What we have done is created a triparty approach so that it’s not just government, it’s government, civil society, industry and Bahamians in the international diaspora working hard to develop a product that is second to none.”
Johnson said now that the industry has moved pass this hurdle, it is time to shore up and expand its offerings, particularly in the wake of the recent departure of major banks from this jurisdiction.
“It’s always concerning when persons leave because The Bahamas will always want to have that competitive advantage. Financial services is a rigorous experience because there are so many jurisdictions trying to get what you are trying to get to bring to The Bahamas. So sometimes people will leave, but we’re doing our promotions through BFSB (Bahamas Financial Services Board),” he said.
“We are showing the world. We just came off the blacklist, showing that we are a transparent, honest jurisdiction and that we will not harbor anything that is against international law or betray any treaties that we have signed. And so, we are diligently looking at new products and services, for example cryptocurrency, to see how we can stay where we are.”