H.E. Dame Ivy Dumont
**Speech From The Throne**
The new Progressive Liberal Party government intends to increase the budget for the international promotion of The Bahamas’ financial services industry, and, along with the private sector, to mount “an aggressive campaign” in major onshore markets to attract a more sizable share of the international market for offshore services.
This was disclosed today in the Speech from the Throne, read by Governor-General Dame Ivy Dumont, at the reopening of Parliament following the May 02 General Elections.
Before the Governor-General began her address, the House of Assembly elected Mr. Oswald Ingraham, the M.P. from South Eleuthera, as its 50th Speaker, and Mr. Anthony Moss, the M.P. from Exuma, as Deputy Speaker. The Senate chose Mrs. Sharon Wilson, an attorney and former senior magistrate, as its President.
The Governor-General said the government recognises that a closer working partnership with the private sector is vital to the success of its efforts to revitalise the financial services industry. *”To assist in achieving this,”* she said, *”my government will establish a Financial Services Consultative Forum to facilitate structured and continuous dialogue between the government and the private sector so that legislative and promotional strategies aimed at repositioning the financial services industry to better meet the needs of international financial markets can be conceived and implemented within a framework of collaborative effort.”*
She also said the government intends to act on its campaign pledge to review financial services legislation with a view to removing those provisions ruled unconstitutional by the courts. It also plans to streamline and simplify paperwork requirements under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act. The underlying fundamentals of the financial services legislation, however, will not be disturbed, she said.
The government also plans to undertake studies with a view to determining the viability of introducing a more significant liberalisation of the exchange control system as a means of stimulating investment in capital markets, and accelerating and liberalising the flow and exchange of money, she said.
Noting that electronic commerce offers “enormous potential” for the advancement of that sector and job opportunities, the Governor-General said the government will fast-track the establishment of The Bahamas as an e-commerce centre.
**No New Taxes**
The government reaffirms that under its fiscal policy, there will be no income tax, no corporate tax, no capital gains tax, and no inheritance tax.
The government also reaffirms that it will serve as a catalyst for economic growth and development throughout The Bahamas, by pursuing policies that encourage capital investment, both local and foreign.
Bahamas Information Services
May 22, 2002