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The Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie, has expressed cautious optimism about the future of the financial services sector's place in what he has called a new regulatory "world order" following the adoption of global tax transparency standards.
Speaking at the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners' Caribbean Conference entitled "Exploring the possibilities," Christie said: "The possibilities for financial services in today's world, even with all of the international challenges, remain wide open to exploration, and I am convinced that the future is bright."
However Christie also noted the increased regulatory burdens on the industry: "In recent years, we have witnessed a significant increase in the extra-territorial regulatory burden to this sector from initiatives in the EU, G20, and G8, the Paris–based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and - how can I forget - the United States Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). I understand there is an impending Global Account Tax Compliance Act, otherwise known as GATCA, which is on the horizon."
Expressing cautious optimism, Christie concluded that the future of the financial services sector will depend on international cooperation. He said: "As this new 'world order' emerges, I seek to discover positive developments. In this regard, it is my hope that from these changes we begin to find new opportunities for cooperation between countries and a new pursuit of deeper understanding so that the mistrust between countries engaged in financial services can begin to wither – as the mistrust between countries engaged in commercial trade or manufacturing has also started to wither."
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