The Bahamas Financial Services Board has presented its Position Paper to the Ministry of Finance, indicating that the strategy for the development of an action plan is two-fold:
-the development of enabling legislation and a strategy for The Bahamas to become a global leader as an electronic commerce and communications hub; and
-the development of domestic e-business and the attraction of foreign business to The Bahamas to achieve growth in the point-of-sale function of e-commerce business, and the necessary transfer of technology.
The results to be gained through the facilitating of electronic commerce and by enabling the financial services industry to compete on this global platform, were seen as multi-faceted:
– Creation of new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities
– Creation of an investment structure in education and training, providing Bahamians with the skills to undertake not only the significant secondary jobs created but also the primary high technology positions
– Creation of new and additional foreign revenue streams, designed to bolster and support the Bahamian economy
– Strengthening of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
BFSB representatives served on the National E-Commerce Steering Committee, participating in the consultative exercise over a five-week period leading to the drafting of an action plan submitted to the Cabinet. It is anticipated that a permanent E-Business Steering Committee will be established, with the mandate of providing input into e-business strategic decisions from a national and industry perspective. Also proposed is the establishment of Industry Cluster Groups, mandated to coordinate and implement focused industry strategies and identify actions needed to remove constraints. The role of the Government is viewed as the development of policy, removal of barriers, and the generation of input from the business community and citizens. Hence, recommendations have been tabled for the creation of an E-Business Government Policy Board.
Along with other industry cosponsors, BFSB recently joined the host Bahamas Chamber of Commerce in co-ordinating a one-day educational seminar under the heading “Positioning The Bahamas for Global Competition: The Development of E-Commerce.” Speakers from the United States and Canada joined with local government and service providers presenters. An overriding point made throughout the day was the same principles developed to give The Bahamas a competitive edge in offshore financial services would benefit the development of e-commerce, an industry earmarked by the Government to become the third pillar of the local economy. Major presentations from the Seminar can be viewed at www.infovision-nassau.com/ecommerce