I. Chester Cooper
M.P., The Exumas & Ragged Island
PLP Deputy Leader, Shadow Minister of Finance
It is outrageous that the European Commission would seek to unilaterally level heavy-handed sanctions by way of another blacklist.
It is even more concerning that these attacks continue amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Though there have been various legislative reforms undertaken, institutions continue to shed jobs and leave The Bahamas.
This action threatens our competitiveness compared with our peers.
We note the surprise expressed by the attorney general in the face of legislative responses to the Financial Action Task Force and the opening of an embassy in Brussels, in order to address these types of matters diplomatically before they are decided. We would like to understand from the government how proactive this embassy has been in communicating with the European Commission.
In view of these harsh actions, will the government also confirm whether they have responded to all requests and complied with all previous commitments made to the EU?
We urge the government to collaborate with our counterparts in the international financial services jurisdictions and seek assistance from our friends in the international community to curb these attacks.
Continuing to kow-tow to governments and international bodies whose only desire is to see us out of the industry, is a failed strategy.
We must protect what remains of our financial services center and the livelihood of the middle-class.
In the face of these threats we must continue to create innovative products, and a clearly defined strategy to maintain the industry.
As always, the Progressive Liberal Party stands ready to assist the government.