Hon. Perry G. Christie, M.P.
Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of the Financial Services Consultative Forum, describing the 33-member group as a “Think Tank” of experts. It is to these experts that the Government will look for opinions and development strategies to reposition the financial services industry to better meet the needs of the international financial markets. *”Their input to the development of the financial services industry will ensure that The Bahamas is a cutting edge blue chip financial center,”* said Prime Minister Christie.

The Forum is chaired by Attorney Brian Moree of the law firm McKinney, Bancroft and Hughes, and comprises a cross-section of Bahamian and non-Bahamian experts who have their fingers on the pulse of the local, regional and global economies.

The broad-based group of industry experts will work closely with the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments, which will provide administrative support, the Bahamas Financial Services Board, industry regulators, and others in the domestic private sector and also with regional and global associations.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments was appointed in May, 2002 in the recognition of Government’s policy that it must play a proactive role in promoting the jurisdiction, and of its commitment to strengthening the nation’s economy by maintaining the global competitiveness of its financial services sector.

The Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Financial Services and Investments, said her Ministry looks forward to working closely with the Forum on the implementation of its National Strategy for Financial Services. She said with the advice and recommendations from this group, together with the Ministry’s collaboration with the Bahamas Financial Services Board, *”we will achieve success and become one of the leading financial centers in the world.”*

Minister Maynard-Gibson pointed out that her Ministry has worked in consultation with the private sector, whom the Government regards as “partners” in national development, to prepare the National Strategy. This ambitious “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, according to the Minister.