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Nevis Ready To Become Major Player In Financial Services

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

At the Nevis Financial Services Regulation and Supervision Department conference “Compliance Requirements – The Changing Landscape”, which received a record attendance from the island’s financial services providers, Nevis’s Finance Minister Laurie Lawrence reiterated the government’s commitment to establishing the territory as a major international player in the world of financial services.

“I want to assure service providers that the government will not give up in its quest to make Nevis a major player in the financial services industry. We believe that here is still potential for growth in the sector although success will require creativity and imagination.”.

Lawrence observed opportunities for tax planning providers as a result of developed countries’ efforts to reign in their budget deficits through tax hikes. He also pointed to the global shift in wealth, from Europe and North America, to Asia and South America, which he observed would open up new markets, but in turn increase competitiveness.

“With the growth in technology, service providers will no longer focus on any one or two jurisdictions. They will spread their wings across the globe. Centres will continue to increase resulting in greater competition for the available opportunities. The more competitive it becomes the harder it is and the best jurisdictions will do well,” he said.

With this in mind, Lawrence said the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) would continue to amend the island’s legislation to meet the needs of its customers but would not sacrifice quality.

“We will continue to adhere to global regulatory and transparency standards, and also aggressively pursue new markets. We are already working with the federal government to appoint honorary consuls in strategic areas across the globe to facilitate the processing of documents. We are also exploring the possibility of contracting out the Registry to a private entity that could upgrade the technology and make our service more competitive, in terms of speed and efficiency.”

“We are studying potential growth in areas such as insurance, intellectual property and ship registration to seek out opportunities. These are just some of the areas we are working on presently, to ensure the sustainability of this important sector. So we are not giving up, we are not going to throw in the towel so we are going to have to work harder,” he said.

Lawrence acknowledged that the NIA could not do it alone, and called for continued cooperation with service providers on the island, to promote and develop the sector. He told the participants that they had the direct experience and as such, the Administration would continue to solicit their views and advice as they forged ahead.