**Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Financial Services and Investments**
In collaboration with Cable Bahamas and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Global Information Group, recently hosted a Symposium on “Trusted Information Sharing in Global Markets”, in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The event targeted representatives from Fortune 500 companies, and provided information on the benefits of processing trusted international data in a business friendly environment with full protection for proprietary interests and personal privacy rights.
The Freeport-based Global Information Group provides information sharing tools, solutions, analysis and aggregation services that help governments and the private sector to manage risk, prevent fraud and counter terrorism.
Speaking at the Symposium, the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Minister of Financial Services and Investments, pointed out that the nation has been in the financial services business since the 1930s – and has become a leader in this sector. *“The growth and development of this sector is also due to the policy commitment to the protection of personal privacy. This remains as strong today as ever and is the same as the strong civil liberties principles long established in many of the OECD nations.”*
She said, however, that protection of privacy is not to be confused with protection for illicit activity. *”We cooperate with our friends in making every effort to eliminate money laundering from our banking systems and The Bahamas was one of the first international financial centres to criminalize money laundering.”*
The government is committed to working with the international community in the fight against international terrorism, has signed the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, and is a party to the majority of UN Conventions against Terrorism, including the UN Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
The Minister utilised the forum to speak to her Ministry’s focus on developing e-commerce and information technology as growth areas for The Bahamas. *”We are of the view that The Bahamas is poised for growth in this sector given the sound infrastructure, the highly literate population whose native language is English, a secure and stable government and our geographic location, which has placed us at the gateway to the Americas.”*
Additionally, the adoption of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, the Computer Misuse Act and the Data Protection (Privacy of Personal Information) Act were the first steps in the development of the legislative framework for the e-commerce sector.