Bahama's new minister of economic affairs has said that boosting its financial services industry is the highest priority and it will continue to seek and leverage niches where it can be most competitive.
In his first address to the industry at Bahamas Financial Services Board's Annual General Meeting, Michael Halkitis said: "As the second pillar of our economy, bolstering the financial services industry must be placed at the highest priority. We will continue to identify and leverage niches where we can be most competitive while remaining proactive about our response to ever-evolving global standards and regulations."
His appointment, which includes responsibility for financial services, followed a general election in The Bahamas on 16 September.
Within the Financial Services sector itself, now is the time for industry partners to progressively harness profitable niches.”
Halkitis said the new administration intends to deliver a more diverse economy through investments in technology, renewable energy, sustainable tourism, and the green, blue, and orange economies: "Within the Financial Services sector itself, now is the time for industry partners to progressively harness profitable niches."
"Widespread access to emerging opportunities within these growing sectors will be essential to moving this country forward along a path of exponential growth and progress."
He indicated that the government will do its part in spurring innovation through its own digitization and ease of doing business efforts, which his ministry will lead the charge on.
"We will roll out the technologies that will allow government services to be as efficient and effective as possible, while introducing policies that will empower entrepreneurs rather than impeding them with bureaucracy and red tape."
He added: "As we move forward with the development and execution of our substantive policy agenda, it is recommendations like these, developed jointly between government stakeholders, the BFSB, and the private sector, that will continue to inform our work.
"This is just the start of an ongoing, multifaceted dialogue between us. You can expect that we will continue to reach out and consult with our valued partners as international initiatives are addressed and policy position are taken. You can expect us to continue the events and opportunities for engagement that have become common between government and private sector stakeholders over the last two years."