Speaking from Rio de Janeiro yesterday, Minister of Financial Services for The Bahamas the Hon. Ryan Pinder said these are exciting times in the international financial services and business marketplace and The Bahamas could not be more excited, not only about its future, but the future of working with the people and businesses of Brasil. *“We see the relationship between Brasil and The Bahamas to be one of friendship, one where we can do business together. In fact, many of you might not know, but Brasil is the only Latin American country that has a resident embassy in The Bahamas,”* Minister Pinder said during the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) [“Bahamas Landfall”](http://www.bfsb-bahamas.com/news.php?cmd=view&id=3120&pre=y) in Brasil.
*“We look to continue and further develop our business partnership to promote natural synergies, and to develop business internationally.”* Minister Pinder said that the Government of The Bahamas, under the current administration of the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, has renewed its “singular commitment” to the financial services industry by re-creating the Ministry of Financial Services, of which he is the substantive minster. *“A mandate of the Ministry of Financial Services is to promote the financial services industry of The Bahamas, create new financial products, and seek out new linkages and opportunities to work with international partners, such as Brasil,”* Minister Pinder said.
Minister Pinder pointed out that over the many decades as an international financial centre, The Bahamas has demonstrated that it is a jurisdiction with a highly-skilled workforce, a long history of integrity, a well-regulated industry where wealth is managed and, in turn, positioned for international business and investment globally. In this vein, he added, The Bahamas remains committed to the philosophy of confidentiality and looks to work hand in hand with its regulators to ensure that it is a jurisdiction sensitive to the operation of the private sector and an inviting jurisdiction to international financial services participants. *“We are a global business hub; we are the gateway to the Americas, acting as a natural partner for international business,”* Minister Pinder stated. One of The Bahamas’ greatest assets, and a characteristic valued by many the world over, is that The Bahamas is a stable and experienced democracy, a sovereign country, Minister Pinder said. *“Being a sovereign country not only allows us to make independent decisions and laws, but it also allows us, as a country, to legislate and create policy for the further advancement of international business,”* Minister Pinder said. *“The Bahamas has been a nimble country, being able to quickly react to the changing financial services environment, reacting to the ever-changing international business climate.”* An example of this, he said, is the creation and implementation of SMART Fund 007 (SFM 007), which was signed into force under the current government administration, since coming to office in May of this year. *“SFM007 was created with the goal to be a ‘product for Brasil’, a product that is strikingly similar to the super qualified investment fund here in Brasil,”* Minister Pinder said. *“This new product has been authorised and brought into force, before coming to this meeting.”* The ability for The Bahamas financial services industry to demonstrate its creativity, and the regulators and government to work with private sector to bring SMART fund 7 into force in a timely fashion, demonstrates the business friendly environment of The Bahamas, according to the Minister. He added that this has been the reputation of The Bahamas — i.e., being able to identify products for the advancement of the international private sector and proceed to enacting them. *“This is why The Bahamas has the most effective, flexible, and practical financial services toolbox in the world, delivering results in an ever-changing international business environment — results of a stable and sovereign democracy,”* Minister Pinder said. As the international financial services industry continually evolves, Minister Pinder said sectors within the industry develop and The Bahamas is positioned for the natural evolution of new sectors, such as the independent asset advisor and asset manager professional. *“We have a spirit of cooperation with the regulators, private sector and policy advisors, The Bahamas is ‘open for business’ in these new and evolving financial services sectors,”* he said. *“In fact, just last week I met with the securities regulator where an expedited license application review process was agreed to for independent asset managers.”*
Minister Pinder noted that not only has The Bahamas demonstrated in financial services that it is nimble and responsive to the international business community, it also has the benefit of being strategically located to be the access to the Americas. The country’s geographic location, tax environment and developed infrastructure allow The Bahamas to be the manufacturing and trade hub to the Americas, connecting Europe, Asia and the Far East to the Americas, he added. *”We have current manufacturers who utilise The Bahamas to manufacture and trade goods throughout the region, even to and from Brasil,”* Minister Pinder said. “*The Ministry of Financial Services, has the portfolio responsibility for international trade and industry, and we believe that international trade creates a natural partnership with an economy such as Brasil.”* Minister Pinder pointed out that a country promoting a trade agenda as the access to the Americas allows for the natural expansion of the financial services sector coordinating it with industry linkages. As a dominant trade hub, he said, many sectors of financial services can be attracted and developed to support this arm of our economy in international trade and industrial development. These include sectors such as international shipping insurance, commercial banking, investment banking, short term loans – that are needed to facilitate commercial transaction internationally. *“We look forward to working with economies like Brasil to further expand and develop new areas of commercial financial services,”* Minister Pinder said. The Bahamas as a sovereign democracy, he said, demonstrates its flexibility in responding to evolving international financial services industry, and has the tools and leadership to be the preeminent international financial and business centre – the avenue to the Americas. *“We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship between The Bahamas and Brasil,”* Minister Pinder concluded.
*Courtesy of Bahamas Information Services*