The Hon. C.V. Hope Strachan, M.P., Minister of Financial Services, addressed the opening session of the annual [International Business & Finance Summit ]( in Abaco this morning. IBFS this year is taking the format of a CEO Strategy Conclave, under the theme *“The Bahamas Advantage: Defining our Value Proposition”*. The Minister spoke to this theme, providing a *“Policy Perspective”* and essentially giving an overview of policy initiatives designed to strengthen the sector and ensure viability of financial services, while making The Bahamas the jurisdiction of choice.

In line with her presentation to BFSB’s Industry Briefing in February, Minister Strachan spoke to the significant transformation and reinvention of the financial services sector in response to worldwide initiatives. Amidst this, she said, *”this jurisdiction consistently has demonstrated resilience and determination to remain relevant and competitive for a future that can only be shaped by the choices we make and not by the chances we take.”*

The Minister took the opportunity to put forth 7 objectives she saw as starting points in the road ahead to ensure sustainability of the sector – steps, she pointed out that will require (a) effective coordination between government entities, the regulators and industry; (b) flexibility between government and regulators; and (c) innovation and adaptability from industry, to work together responsibly to ensure excellence, to uphold the nation’s reputation and to foster innovation in order to remain relevant and competitive. These are:

* Strengthen Core Business
* Highlight Natural Strengths
* Look to Service Diversification and New Product Development
* Cultivate a Service Culture
* Develop and Build Human Capital
* Improve Compliance and Regulatory Measures
* Pursue Positive Promotion

The Minister expressed optimism for the Way Forward. *”We have developed a successful financial services industry in The Bahamas that is a linchpin in our economy. We have proven our ability to be resilient, but we now need to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of a changing business environment from a policy perspective to benefit the interests of the financial services industry in The Bahamas in the long-term.”*
In conclusion industry participants were called on to continue the partnership already enjoyed, responding to the challenges as they arise, and remaining creative and innovative while adhering to sound principles and sustainable policies. *”Our consistent monitoring market developments will assist us in proactively addressing and adjusting to market changes that impact our industry which would allow my government to adjust policies and steer the creation and amendment of legislation. Much work has been done, but there is much more to be done. It will take the efforts of each of us here to ensure the best possible result. We will protect our existing business, reposition our current offerings and build new capabilities.”*

Click [here]( for the full agenda of the 2016 CEO Strategy Conclave.