The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) has repositioned its annual Retreat to a Bahamas “[International Business and Finance Summit](” (IBFS) that seeks to leverage the opportunities for international business through an integrated approach. The event will be held at the Bimini Bay Resort, Bimini, on January 29-31.

Details and registration information are available on the Summit [website](

Since 2004, BFSB’s annual Retreat has served to bring together stakeholders from the government, regulators and private sector in the financial services industry for intense discussion of key drivers of our industry. The primary objective of such interaction has been to formulate strategies for the growth of The Bahamas financial services industry, while also providing opportunities for networking in apt settings within the Family Islands of The Bahamas.

International Business – including financial services – is dynamic with significant opportunities for growth and contribution to the socio-economic health of The Bahamas. IBFS will seek to clarify these opportunities and develop action plans in line with the strategy statement for international business and finance. This strategy statement, jointly developed by Government and BFSB, was presented to industry by the Minister of Finance The Honourable Zhivargo Laing in July, followed by a series of industry consultations.

The Summit will adopt a far more global approach to business development by giving dual attention to, firstly, the dynamics impacting wealth creation, preservation and transfer, whether they are geopolitical, demographic, or economic in nature; and, secondly, how international business and financial centres such as The Bahamas can respond.

*”2009 was a watershed year for change and the parameters for conducting international business and finance have changed dramatically,”* said BFSB CEO and Executive Director Wendy Warren. *“The IBFS is intended to act as a catalyst for identifying business opportunities in this new economic environment, and to assist industry stakeholders in acquiring their fair share of business and to thrive in the new normal.”*

Expert presenters will lead discussions at a series of sessions relating to international finance and business, themed as follows: Securing Business Opportunities, Pre-Requisites for Growth, and Re-Examining Our Building Blocks. These will lead into the Business Development Breakout Sessions later on Saturday morning that will speak to “Building Sustainable & Profitable Businesses”. Workshop participants will be asked to examine select sectors of international business and finance and identify what actions are required to build winning and sustainable strategies, having full regard to the “New Normal” of increasing Regulation, Taxation and Transparency.

Both public and private sector participants have noted the critical importance of engaging all industry stakeholders on a regular basis for open discussions on the financial services sector – and acknowledged that the annual retreat provided an ideal opportunity to share such information. BFSB Chairman Craig Gomez said, *”We have been pleased to have public sector involvement by all relevant Cabinet Ministers, all Industry Regulators, and the Leader and delegation of the Opposition at the annual retreats; the IBFS will be no exception and, already, there is an impressive line up of participants.”*

IBFS is pleased to announce that the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has come on board as a Gold Sponsor of IBFS 2010; with the Bahamas Maritime Authority as a Silver Sponsor; the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited and King’s Realty providing support as Bronze Sponsors; and the Ministry of Tourism and Schooner Bay, Great Abaco as supporting sponsors. XALT.TV will also be in Bimini covering the event for The Bahamas section of the STEP Wealth Directory.