The Minister of Financial Services and Investments has tabled the outline for a “National Strategy on Financial Services” in the House of Assembly, indicating at the same time that her Ministry has worked in consultation with the private sector, whom the Government regards as “partners” in national development, to prepare the document.

Minister Maynard-Gibson said *”We have entered a new era as a nation, an era in which full consultation and true co-operation with all sectors of Bahamian society has been accepted as the way forward. Just as no man is an island, no government, once elected, can say it is acting responsibly and without full accountability, if it does not engage all constituents on a continuous basis in developing policies and legislation that are in keeping with the best interests of the country.”*

The Minister noted that there is to be additional consultation and input in several areas, assuring her colleagues in the House – and the private sector – that consultation on these matters and others that remain unresolved will be thorough and swift. The Minister plans to consult further with the industry generally on October 17 at a luncheon meeting being organised by BFSB, and to host public consultation via a Town Meeting on October 23rd.

Noting that the plan represents the first real effort by the public and private sector to develop a long-term vision for the industry, Minister Maynard-Gibson said continued collaboration between the public and private sector will ensure the strategy evolves in keeping with international conditions. She said, *”We are not immune to shifting international trends and issues, a condition that has become all too evident over the past several years.”*

The Minister concluded that the ambitious “Strategic Plan” for financial services will ensure the sector remains an economic engine for employment in a post industrial era and for improving the quality of life for all Bahamians.