Speaking at a workshop for international photographers and videographers in Nassau recently, the Chief Executive of investment firm Orbitex Management said the production industry should be encouraged to set up home bases and bank in The Bahamas. Indicating that it is time to expand the current twin pillar of The Bahamas’ economy, Mr. Richard Steirwalt said the Government should explore ways to retain profits from films produced in The Bahamas and build a new economic sector.

“With its stable, free market-oriented government and excellent income tax policy, The Bahamas is the perfect place to do business”, said the chief executive. He reported that Orbitex recommends doing business in The Bahamas to all its corporate clients in Europe and the United States, as the nation has managed economic growth and is located at the “Atlantic crossroads” between the Americas and Europe.

Commenting on the new package of financial services legislation and regulations, Mr. Steirwalt said the introduction of new laws at the end of December 2000 did not mean that the Bahamas had been lax on supervision in the past. The new laws just formalised previous practices, and “the proof of the success of this transition is the continued growth of The Bahamas’ financial services sector” according to Mr. Steirwalt.

Production companies participating in the workshop were told that they should create local investment portfolios for company profits, keeping such in The Bahamas, as opposed to repatriating profits only to have them wired back for the next production.