Yesterday the Government launched the much-touted enhancement of its e-business platform for company incorporations. Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson maintained, though, that the [Registrar General’s Department]( is not “resting on its laurels”, indicating that online registration of deeds and documents and other services will occur in subsequent phases. *”We intend to have a paperless registry,”* she said.

Both Mrs. Maynard-Gibson and Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Perry C. Christie described the launch of the enhanced online platform as a “magnificent example” of public-private sector (PPP) partnership, as well as a significant step in the ease of doing business in the nation. The service will be available 24/7, and it will be possible immediately to get incorporation certificates and certificates of good standing. Prime Minister Christie also noted that the launch marks an important step in the Government’s plan to build a “safe, modern and prosperous Bahamas — a Stronger Bahamas. *”It presents sterling evidence of my government’s commitment to encouraging high-quality domestic and foreign investment by putting in place the necessary components to foster and encourage the ease of doing business in The Bahamas, which I firmly believe is the greatest little country in the world.”*

The Hon. Hope Strachan, M.P., Minister of Financial Services, likewise described the on-line business registration platform as a critical component of The Bahamas’ commercial infrastructure. *”This will improve the product offering of The Bahamas considerably in terms of financial services,”* she said. *“The ease of doing business is a very important part of the reputation of this jurisdiction. Last year we fell out of the top 100 in the ease of doing business, and I believe that this initiative is going to enhance us to the point that we can arrest that decline.”*

Present at yesterday’s launch was BFSB CEO Tanya McCartney, who said the new e-services at the Registrar General’s Department was a “red letter day” for business in this nation. She also spoke to the ease of doing business as being critical to ensuring that client experiences match their expectations. *“Registered agents will be able to incorporate companies, pay annual fees, reserve company names, conduct company searches and order documents on-line at any time, all the time. The ability to incorporate within 24 hours certainly will improve our competitive advantage – and further position The Bahamas as a viable, competitive and premier international financial centre.”*

Prime Minister Christie also commented on the expansion of The Bahamas’ competitive edge in financial services, noting that as The Bahamas works to become number one in financial services in the region the country will continue to demonstrate the Government’s commitment to e-solutions and information and communication technology (ICT). *”ICT for creating, managing, storing, disseminating and receiving and analysing information and providing solutions is a foundation stone of a modern, strong economy,”* the Prime Minister said. *”The Bahamas joins the United States of America, the European Union and numerous other countries recognizing that ICT provides long-term good jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.”* Late last year, the International Telecommunications Union committed to making The Bahamas the world’s first ‘Smart Island’ and Prime Minister Christie said, *”We expect the entire Bahamas to join the world’s smart cities such as Amsterdam.”*