**Stephen Lande, President
Manchester Trade Ltd.**

Stephen Lande, President of Washington-based Manchester Trade will examine whether trade is the key to securing benefits for The Bahamas as the gateway to the Americas when he addresses the **Bahamas Financial Services (BFS) Retreat 2009**, being held in Freeport January 23 to 25.

The Retreat’s “Trade” session specifically will look at whether the financial services sector can obtain benefits from trade and, if so, the limits/extent of such benefits.

Mr. Lande will be joined by panellists Raymond Winder, Co-Chairman of the Bahamas Trade Commission and Ryan Pinder of law firm Becker & Poliakoff.

BFSB’s CEO Wendy Warren says the event at Our Lucaya will also examine the benefits of combining trade treaties, location and land to attract increased international business conducted within The Bahamas. This will be closely examined by Mr. Lande and panellists who will review whether the jurisdiction’s value proposition can be unlocked by meeting the “mind and management” for tax purposes. *“The opportunity for outsourcing will be addressed with a keen eye on the Freeport value proposition,”* said Ms. Warren.

Mr. Lande is a distinguished international trade expert in the United States. He is Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and has lectured widely in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Mr. Lande has been involved in international trade since the 1960s. He was initially assigned as a Foreign Service Officer to the Economic Bureau of the Department of States and then to American Embassies in Athens and in Luxembourg. He had a twelve year career with the Office of the United State Trade Representative as the Senior Trade negotiator and the first of a long-line of Assistant USTRs. In this role Mr. Lande negotiated many bilateral and multilateral trade agreements on behalf of the US Government in Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

Mr. Lande is viewed by many to be the “Father” of both the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), and an early force in creating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). More recently, he has been directly involved with U.S., Central American and African governments and businesses in advancing the approval of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), improvements to the Caribbean Basin Initiative, the spread bilateral of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

The overall theme of the annual Retreat is Building Sustainable and Competitive Financial Services Platforms, with other sessions addressing international financial centre (IFC) initiatives, tax and privacy, judicial and legal systems, business development tools. The BFS Retreat was established as an annual event on BFSB’s calendar to provide the opportunity for stakeholders of the industry to engage in discussions on key drivers impacting the sector and for the ongoing nurturing of public/private sector collaboration.