Nov 28, 2022

The Opposition is saddened that the Prime Minister has again missed an opportunity to address the Bahamas and the world on such an important issue for the Bahamas. The Opposition welcomes the comprehensive statement by the Attorney General Ryan Pinder. We agree with the Attorney General that The FNM administration positioned the Bahamas as a world leader in Fintech Financial Services through the passage of The Digital Assets Registration Exchange Act (DARE).

This legislation is innovative, bold, and progressive. In 2020 the Bahamas was successful in being one of the first in the world to provide a regime which was intended to attract the best in the world in this fast-moving new industry. This industry provides new well- paying employment opportunities never seen before and new wealth opportunities for every Bahamian to become an owner in this industry.

We are saddened that the PLP Government has squandered opportunity after opportunity. The approval to operate as a Digital Exchange and the fall of FTX was on their watch.Despite what the Attorney General says many in the international community are using the fall of FTX to attack the good reputation of the Bahamas as a well-regulated Financial Services jurisdiction.

We are dismayed that it took this long for a comprehensive statement to be made. Even the S&P in their most recent report on the Bahamas stated “the Bahamas has a sizeable

financial sector… The local economy benefited from the activities of a digital exchange over the past year, but this sector may face setbacks as FTX a digital asset exchange headquartered in the Bahamas recently filed for bankruptcy.”

The PLP Government’s silence particularly in the international press has already caused irreputable damage. We agree with the Attorney General that comments on this matter must always be responsible. The leader of the Opposition and all members of the Opposition have always spoken in the best interests of our country.

This is precisely why I make these comments. The Bahamas reputation is under attack.

We are a well-regulated and experienced jurisdiction with the best talent in the world and in the interest of our country, we must act to protect our industry.

I repeat my statements made in the House of Assembly. We are not saying enough to protect our industry, if we say we are leaders, then we should lead! Our leader warned that by leaving a vacuum our competitors and enemies of our country would fill it with their narrative. Where is the communication strategy?

One statement is not enough. Have we engaged an international PR firm? Why hasn’t the Government met with the Opposition and more importantly met with Industry to manage the international message in a no-partisan way? The Government must do more to protect our international reputation and the position as industry world leaders left in place by the FNM.

J. Kwasi Thompson

Member of Parliament East Grand Bahama Shadow Minister for Finance

27th November 2022

Pin It on Pinterest