ROUNDTABLE: BERMUDA’S ECONOMY
Q3: WHAT ARE YOUR FINAL THOUGHTS?
“It is up to all of us to grab those opportunities.”
Fagundo: We have established strong foundations and the challenge is to build on them and move forward. Sometimes the work is being done quietly, at other times it is in the public domain, but we are making progress.
The government is listening, and it is up to all of us to grab those opportunities, remain optimistic and move forward.
Huff: I would add that Bermuda offers the opportunity to work collaboratively along all lines of business, and (more importantly) at all levels of business and government. You can be in an elevator with a global CEO who is having a conversation with a member of the catering staff.
We sometimes take that closeness and transparency for granted, but Bermuda is such a unique place in which to do business—and much of that success is down to its size and the ability to collaborate.
MacIntyre: We are in the business of selling vision and optimism, so it is really important to continue with that message, whether we’re talking about it locally or internationally. We always speak about the opportunities that Bermuda presents, but people have not had a proper chance to sample what we have to offer.
We are in that teaser phase right now, so we must do a good job of teasing the audience, and then let them do the work. As soon as they start to enjoy living and doing business here, they are the best people to advertise and market Bermuda for us—because they will tell others how great it is.
When the new normal kicks in, we will see more people coming here to experience what the Island has to offer.
We must start doing things on the same scale as global businesses. Once visitors arrive here, they should expect the same internet speeds and every bit of technology working seamlessly (no pixelation on video calls, for example).
Once the technology and infrastructure have caught up, we can make further investments and hope it pays off for us beyond COVID-19.
“We must do a good job of teasing the audience.”
“We have seen new registrations during 2020.”
Cooper: We should remember the importance of the life insurance and reinsurance sector to the Bermuda economy.
It has been a bit quieter than the P&C and SPI industry, but it has continued to grow this year despite COVID. We have seen new registrations during 2020 and increased deal flow.
Bermuda is in a fantastic position right now in terms of the global economy, so we need to monetise that and keep the foundation going for as long as possible.
Our aim is to help encourage new businesses across all sectors into Bermuda, creating new jobs and redeploying economic activity throughout the Island.
Thresh: I see a closer alignment between all sectors of business and the government than I have ever seen before. COVID-19 has been a massive shock to the system, but it also provides a platform to look again at some of our established truths.
I love ESG, but we can now see it through refreshed eyes and consider the direct impact of new people on the Island.
We should consider if that can yield some liberalisation around immigration. In short, there is great alignment going forward and I remain optimistic.
Burrows: At the BDA, we continue to facilitate engagement between the private sector and the public sector—and vice versa.
We hear both sides of the conversation and can rely on the insights to ensure there is a mutual understanding of what’s needed in order to be successful.
I am extremely optimistic about the future. I would embrace everything that has been said, but I do think there is a short window—probably 12 months—in which we need to move aggressively in order to take full advantage of the opportunities that are there and to put Bermuda in the best possible position to drive growth.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Smit
“There is great alignment going forward.”