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Minister Symonette welcomes Delegates to STEP Conference
By Betty Vedrine
May 13, 2019 - 6:05:36 PM

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Nassau, The Bahamas – Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration, the Hon. Brent Symonette delivered welcome remarks, Monday, to delegates attending the 20th Anniversary STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Conference, a forum for stakeholders in the financial sector.  The two-day event, held under the theme, “Mind the Gap: Future-Proofing IFC’s”, is being held at Baha Mar Resort.

Minister Symonette said that the conference offers an excellent platform for prominent political, economic, financial and academic leaders from abroad to discuss their ideas on common issues of concern. He said over the past few years, there have been questions about the future of International Financial Centers and whether they will be able to withstand the pressures imposed by the global regulation and technological advancement.

“It cannot be denied that globalization and the ever-increasing trans-border nature of financial services has highlighted the role that International Financial Centers (IFCs) will play in the future,” he said.

He said that the theme for this year’s conference aptly addresses the needs to be done in order to ensure the survival of the industry. He explained that as IFCs move to ensure their sustainability in the sector, several factors must be considered: Innovation via the use of advanced technology (BLOCKCHAIN etc.); Asset and Jurisdictional Diversification; and Flexibility in the methodology that is adopted in order to meet the needs in an ever-changing environment.

“The Bahamas has shown its commitment to complying with international regulatory standards with the most recent implementation of CRS, our commitment to the BEPS minimum standards, the ongoing EU negotiations and FATF recommendations.”

According to Minister Symonette, over the past two years, the government has been able to expand the country’s participation in multilateral agreements and has also enacted legislation to comply with those initiatives.

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