**Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, M.P.
Minister of Financial Services and Investments**

*”The paradigm for financial services has changed, with onshore centers competing for offshore business, and competition for global services reaching a feverish pace with countries taking definitive measures to ensure they secure jobs for their citizens.”*

Addressing a recent forum of the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services, the Minister of Financial Services and Investments spoke on the role of The Bahamas in this dynamic environment. She said The Bahamas must continue to be a key player in the conduct of international business, ensuring that it refines – and redefines where necessary – the necessary environment to secure the nation’s link in the global trade of financial services.
Calling attention to the Government’s 5 year Strategic Plan, the Minister pointed to the steps establishing the framework for its work:

o Replace red tape with red carpet

o Create productive public/private sector partnership

o Identify/create opportunities for growth

o Safeguard the internal environment, upgrade infrastructure

o Develop expertise

o Promote the jurisdiction

o Build strong relationships with relevant international bodies

o Develop linkages with tourism, investment & real estate development

o Encourage integration of domestic & international sectors

o Facilitate Bahamian participation in financial services industry

Minister Maynard-Gibson said that in cooperation with the private sector, the Government has been able to accomplish key improvements in the environment for financial services, including developments in the areas of customer due diligence, registry services and, specifically, new legislation. The new package of legislation includes the E-Commerce Acts, Investment Funds Act, and tabled Perpetuities Amendment, IBC Amendment, Segregated Accounts Company, Foundations, and Purpose Trust Acts. *”We will not stand still. We must meet the key paradigm in the global environment “CHANGE” by creating positive changes in The Bahamas.”*

According to the Minister, this model of conducive change can only succeed where there is public private sector partnership and, further, she encouraged BIFS and its members to remain engaged in the process, continuing to develop the necessary expertise.

The Bahamas Institute of Financial Services has a mission *”To promote quality training and education programs for the financial services sector, to be innovative and responsive to the expanding needs of the business and financial community, and to develop creative synergy to foster and enhance sustained growth within the industry.”*

BIFS recently hosted its 15th annual Week of Seminars, which ended with a special reception where senior financial leaders were invited for one-on-one discussions with Minister Maynard-Gibson.