Executives of the Association of International Banks & Trust Companies (AIBT) and the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) met today with the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Rt. Honorable Perry Christie, the Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Immigration, Hon. Philip Davis, and the Minister of Financial Services, Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, to discuss various issues around immigration and labour in light of the recent immigration round-ups that have been widely reported.
AIBT and BFSB Executives expressed that while the industry understands and respects the Government’s ongoing efforts to enforce the country’s immigration laws, the industry believes that it is critically important that a more calibrated and sensitive approach be taken, so as to avoid unnecessary detentions of individuals duly authorized to live and work in The Bahamas. It was further stressed that we must work together to ensure that no harm is inflicted on The Bahamas’ reputation as a welcoming nation.
The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Financial Services were receptive of the concerns expressed and reinforced their understanding of the value of the financial services industry to the country. AIBT and BFSB will continue our ongoing dialogue with Government and seek to build upon our long-standing constructive working relationships. To this end, the Prime Minister has invited the Executives to a follow up meeting with the respective portfolio Ministers. We look forward to engaging the Government in a broader dialogue around issues of labour, immigration and economic development. All stakeholders understand fully that access to financial and human capital are vital, and we must explore meaningful reform to existing regulations and procedures which will encourage the long-term growth and development of the nation.
We invite AIBT and BFSB member companies to contact us directly with any questions and/or concerns about these matters so that we can work to provide clarity and support to the industry around these issues.