Local leaders brainstorm on future economic development

KEY members of the TCI’s public and private sectors met to discuss the future of the financial services industry during the second annual Economic Conference last week.

The one-day national conference coordinated by InvestTCI brought scores of interested people to Beaches Resort and Spa in Providenciales. The seminar was held on Friday, November 8, and hosted under the theme, ‘Financial services – Building block of a strong, diversified economy’. During sessions, members of the private sector including bankers, lawyers, company managers, accountants, and Government officials debated various topics, ideas and strategies focused on the growth of the financial services sector.

The keynote address of the conference was delivered by international speaker Lorna Smith, former executive director of BVI Finance and founder and chief executive officer of LGS and Associates. Premier and Minister of Finance Sharlene Cartwright Robinson also brought remarks at the conference and zeroed-in on the Government’s role in fostering a successful industry.

She outlined ongoing initiatives and commitments already made by the Government to strengthen the sector.

“We see the financial services sector as an integral part of the country’s economic advancement,” she said, “where businesses and industries continually feed off of one another, growing larger and larger as the economy grows.

“It is a critical component of a diversified economy; creating a sustainable cycle of overall economic activity.” She stressed that an effective and efficient partnership between the financial services sector, public and private sector entities is vital to the expansion of the TCI’s economy. “The TCI has experienced a real GDP growth rate of 2.5 percent in 2018 and is expected to see a 3.2 percent growth rate in 2019.

“These targets are being achieved in the wake of two major storms in 2017. “Economic growth, for the most part, has been carried by the tourism and hospitality sector for the past 30 plus years.”

Cartwright Robinson underscored the importance of a diverse financial system. She said: “We are ever mindful that a country’s economic health should never be tied to a single industry or market sector. “This conference is an important platform that gathered leading industry players in the financial services sector, the Government and its ministries, departments and agencies, as well as other service providers in the various sectors of the economy.

“We are able to share, learn and collaborate toward the enhancement and advancement of the financial services ecosystem of the TCI, and to ensure that it is one that engenders growth,” the premier added.

In 2018, a Government report prepared by an international consultancy team concluded that the TCI needed to diversify its economy and create more good quality professional employment opportunities for its citizens.
The report also recommended a need for substantial investment in the TCI’s financial services industry, and highlighted how easily the territory could lose what little it has. Following the report, the Government took several steps in keeping with the recommendations of the study.

Source: https://tcweeklynews.com/local-leaders-brainstorm-on-future-economic-development-p10138-127.htm

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