**Public/Private Sector Collaboration**

More than 60 representatives from the public and private sectors participated in a Financial Services Retreat this past weekend at the Four Seasons Resort at Emerald Bay in Exuma. The event was organised by the Bahamas Financial Services Board.

Public sector representatives included the Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Financial Services and Investments, the Minister of Education and Attorney General, other Ministry personnel, the heads and other representatives from regulatory authorities, and the leader and representatives of the Opposition. The private sector was represented by virtually all sectors of the financial services industry, including banks and trust companies, securities and investment management, law, accountancy, insurance, information technology, and public relations.

The three-day Retreat was designed to generate constructive dialogue amongst private and public sector representatives on ‘The Way Forward’ for the financial services industry of The Bahamas. The small working group sessions were highly successful in generating input from all participants on three primary areas: Securing Opportunities / Minimising Threats; Regulatory Framework & Information Exchange; and Resource for Growth & Bahamianisation.

BFSB now is in the process of developing an Action Plan arising out of the working and plenary session discussions and looks forward to working with the relevant agencies to develop implementation plans to ensure the adoption of critical recommendations.

The high level of participation during the weekend Retreat was a testimony of the recognition by all stakeholders of the importance of the financial services industry to the overall economic well being of the Bahamas.