The Bahamas will be making a return to STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Asia after a big showing at STEP LatAm last week, Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis said in a statement released yesterday.
He said the move is in line with the country’s plans to expand financial services promotions efforts into the Asian market.
“Based on feedback we received in 2022, participants were very interested in The Bahamas and want to learn more about our products and services,” said Halkitis.
“So, just as we’ve done with STEP LatAm, it seems STEP Asia will likely be a permanent addition to our schedule.”
Halkitis said his ministry plans to expand promotional efforts for financial services throughout the globe, with a focus on STEP conferences a main feature.
“For consecutive years, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has served as a presenting sponsor of the STEP LatAm conference, in recognition of its importance to the region and the need to promote the nation’s financial services product to Latin American and Caribbean stakeholders,” the statement said.
Halkitis addressed the STEP LatAm Conference in Bogota, Colombia, promoting The Bahamas’ industry as a strong and stable “safe harbor” for financial services and investments.
He also explained to the conference that The Bahamas might have “the highest concentration of financial services talent in the world”.
“Our financial services industry features a plethora of Bahamian grown talent,” he said.
“You will find Bahamians at every level of the corporate structure – from entry level to managing director.”
According to the statement, there was “robust” representation from The Bahamas at STEP LatAm, with financial services sector players from a wide range of private sector practitioners and intermediaries.
The statement also explained that Halkitis highlighted the upcoming amendments to the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (DARE) Act; the rollout of the Commercial Entities (Substance Reporting) Act 2023, and the corresponding Economic Substance Reporting Portal.
He also pointed out that the country is making strides toward establishing The Bahamas as an international arbitration center.
“The response was overwhelming. Attendees welcomed our message and are eager to do business in The Bahamas, which is why it is always critical that we are accompanied by a large private sector delegation,” said Halkitis.
“We generated a lot of interest, and we will build on that momentum by pressing ahead with a full slate of promotional efforts to convey our message that we are among the world’s top destinations for wealth generation and wealth management.”
The statement explained that during their time in Colombia, Halkitis and Director of Financial Services Brandace Duncanson met with one of the world’s largest law firms to discuss industry developments in The Bahamas.
Commenting on the reception of the promotional message in Colombia, Minister Halkitis noted a universally positive reception.