The financial services industry has thrown its support behind the Bahamas’ first **International Maritime Conference and Trade Show**.

The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) has made a $10,000 contribution to the success of the venture slated for the Westin at Our Lucaya Resort, Freeport, Grand Bahama beginning November 19.

*“We’re very excited about the conference and very pleased to be a part of it,”* said BFSB CEO and Executive Director, Wendy Warren. *“It’s a good programme for The Bahamas generally.”*

The support of the financial services industry is “quite a big deal” to Conference Committee chairman Michael Humes, a First Assistant Secretary in the Cabinet Office. *“They are key players. Their support is critical.”*

The conference and trade show aims to promote The Bahamas as a hub of international trade; highlight the benefits and advantages of the Bahamas International Ship Registry; draw attention to the latest developments and opportunities in the maritime industry; and, explore issues related to local and international investment trends and opportunities

The conference will be opened by Prime Minister Hubert A Ingraham and International Maritime Organisation Secretary General Efthimios E Mitropoulos will deliver the keynote address.

Freeport, a free trade zone and a leader in the maritime industry, is home to the Freeport Container Port, Grand Bahama Shipyard, Freeport Harbour, Bahamas Oil Refining Company, and South Riding Point Holdings.

*“We have always been convinced,”* said Mrs Warren,* “that, wherever possible, we secure the greatest benefits when our business partners come to see us in our home.

“The Bahamas sells itself and there is no better way of doing that than when they come here and they interact with all levels of our country – government, the regulatory agencies, and the private sector.”*

Ms. Warren underscored “key fundamentals” that The Bahamas has always had as its assets – political and fiscal stability, a solid investment grade status, an independent judiciary, and a very attractive tax environment.

*“We are very excited to work with the Government of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Maritime Authority to further the development of the maritime industry. We believe this will inure to the benefit of financial services as well.

“We encourage Bahamians to support the conference. It is in our backyard and so we need to demonstrate to our visitors that we do have a vibrant business sector,”* she said.

*Photo: Bahamas International Maritime Conference and Trade Show committee chairman Michael Humes accepting the support of the financial services industry from BFSB CEO and Executive Director, Wendy C Warren. (BIS photo by Derek Smith)*