‘Goal Is To Expand Islamic Finance Opportunities’

July 18, 2012

This past week, the Premier and Minister of Finance, Paula Cox, led a delegation to London to continue efforts to strengthen Bermuda’s relations with member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC].

The delegation arrived in London last Sunday [July 15] and included Wayne Furbert, Minister of Business Development and Tourism; Jeremy Cox, Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda Monetary Authority and representatives of Price Waterhouse Coopers [PWC] Bermuda, Caroline Foulger and Belaid A. Jheengoor.

A Government spokesperson said, “The visit was part of a Bermuda Government initiative targeting further economic diversification. The goal is to expand Islamic Finance opportunities and strategic partnerships in tourism development projects, while leveraging Bermuda’s leading insurance and reinsurance platform.

“Senior level meetings, facilitated by the Bermuda Government’s London office, PWC and the Arab Financial Forum, have been held with Government and private sector representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

“These included meetings with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Abdulrahman Ghanem Almutaiwee and the Ambassador of Qatar H.E. Mr. Khalid Rashid Salem Al-Homoudi Al-Mansouri.”

Premier Cox described the meetings as “meaningful”and said that Bermuda looks forward to a long-standing relationship with the countries of the GCC.

Roundtable discussion dinner at the Athenaeum Club, 107 Pall Mall, London:

Premier Cox and the delegation hosted a roundtable discussion dinner on Monday [July 16] to encourage and promote inward investment to Bermuda from the Middle East. She said the discussions focused on investment opportunities in the areas of infrastructure, tourism, insurance and reinsurance.

She noted that the delegation’s message was that Bermuda’s unified approach to public, private and regulatory partnerships provided an environment that is open for business and welcomes investment from the GCC region.

The Premier said, “Bermuda is well positioned to forge expanded links in the area of Islamic Finance with the countries of the GCC. Our discussions during this visit primarily focused on the growing ties between these countries and Bermuda, while also touching on existing bilateral agreements with Bahrain and Qatar and plans for an autumn visit to the region.”

Premier Cox continued, “Bermuda has a proven record of delivering on the distinct qualities that are necessary for achieving business success. We welcome the diverse business and governments of the GCC and are ready to help them achieve even greater prosperity and success.”

H.H. Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum; Mr. Jeremy Cox; His Excellency Abdulrahman Ghanem Almutaiwee; Premier Cox, Minister Furbert; Mr. Belaid Jheengoor of PWC; Representatives of the Arab Financial Forum:

The Premier took the opportunity to share with the roundtable attendees that Bermuda’s international reputation has been earned over the years for a number of key reasons.

Premier Cox pointed out that “beyond its tax neutrality, and strategic location with access to key markets; it occupies a leading position as an experienced provider of reinsurance capacity, alternative risk transfer and wealth management, an extraordinary concentration of intellectual capital and an efficient and innovative regulatory framework.”

Minister Furbert, who also welcomed the opportunities for business development, added, “The Bermuda business community is well known for its in-depth knowledge and experience with Islamic finance products and structures and has a history of bringing innovation to the global hedge fund and reinsurance industry, through understanding of unique products such as, for example, insurance-linked securities.

“These defining characteristics of our international financial services sector can prove an invaluable asset to the governments and businesses of the GCC, particularly as they seek to develop a regional financial services hub and new business opportunities.”

Mr. Jeremy Cox; Ms. Kimberley Durrant of the London Office; Premier Cox; H.E. Mr. Khalid Rashid Salem Al-Homoudi Al- Mansouri; Minister Furbert; Mr. Belaid Jheengoor of PWC:

The spokesperson continued, “In recent years, Bermuda and its business community have worked closely to forge more sustainable, long-term economic ties with the businesses and governments of the GCC.

“This has included frequent visits by the Government of Bermuda and private sector representatives to pursue joint ventures, building on a long history of business relationships with the Island. Formal ties include a double taxation agreement and MOU on Economic and Trade Cooperation with Bahrain and Qatar.”

Minister Furbert concluded, “Bermuda offers a number of distinct benefits that differentiate it from other financial jurisdictions. I truly believe that there is tremendous opportunity for the GCC and Bermuda to forge closer relationships through both economic and business partnerships to achieve mutually beneficial success.”

The possibility of follow-up meetings was discussed to build on the existing platform and explore what the Premier described as “real potential”, especially tangible projects in partnership with Qatar.

The Bermuda delegation took the opportunity to advise the GCC diplomats about a September conference in New York at which Bermuda will be participating with former US President, Bill Clinton, which could provide an opportunity for follow-on meetings in Bermuda.

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Comments (14)

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  1. pepper says:

    so are we looking at the arabs to help us with our debt ? or maybe the Chinese !!!!!!!!!

  2. Opressed says:

    Is there no end to the constant trips and stupidity??

  3. Shoo shoo says:

    Did he sing a song for them?

  4. Howdy says:

    Not a modest wardrobe choice for the lady in red…

  5. CHEE KUMS BI says:

    @pepper and Opressed and every other STUPID comment to follow!

    If you have not studyied Islamic banking then shut up, this is a billion dollar industry that even the United States and Uk uses and would be very beneficial to Bermuda.

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      Oh Yah…Bermuda has Officially been Sold…are y’all prepared for what comes next ..? Listening to these comments which would go right over the head of the average joe in Bda. sure they sound like they know what they are talking about right, Just by their veiws on the topic …they only know what information is made readily available to them….what they can’t comprehend is that BANKERS RUN THE WORLD OK!!….and they dont need or want you…nobody invests unless the return is higher than the initial investment…ummm what collateral do we have…Bda. is already broke…oh another little tidbit …dont trade or sell your gold like all the adverts about OH we pay top $ for your broken watch or Jewellery blah blah blah….they want all the gold coz THAT will be the CURRENCY once again, once the dollar collapses(world wide)with the exception of China and the Arabs, who hold the titles to people, places and things which you would be mortified to know….the info is there but not in the mainstream media…the media that trains you all to be sheep ….now thats enuff go and seek an thou shalt find…or are you afraid of the findings….u will have to come out of your comfort zone though.

  6. Common Sense says:

    I have no problem with this initiative. We are in in age where Bermuda needs to look for creative ways to diversify our economy and this could be one of them.

  7. Claudio says:

    What is wrong with trying to secure business outside US/EU?

    Business in Europe has been intertwined with the Middle East for decades, why cant Bermuda do it? Would you feel better if the OBA did it?


    @CHEE KUMS BI – Yes, Islamic Finance is actually a TRILLION+ dollar Industry that is concentrated in the Middle East, particularly Dubai in its DFIC (Dubai International Financial Centre) with an infrastructure and Banks that are able to employ skilled people from anywhere in the world, very quickly, without a rude reception at their airports on arrival.

    You would also note that just as speaking Spanish helps in developing relationships with Latin American Insurers and Investors, speaking ARABIC, is a KEY element of developing and tapping the TRILLIONs of dollars generated from Islamic Finance.

    Also culturally, wealth Arab investors either institutional or high net worth individuals make their service provider decisions (and jurisdictional decisions) based on who they have formed a relationship with and who they are negotiating with.

    To be blunt the Premier, Minister, Business Bermuda, the local Banks, Fund Managers and law firms will have to employ some mother tongue Arabic speakers to genuinely build trust that Bermuda’s IB infrastructure can properly manage TRILLIONS of dollars (actually UAE AED’s – dirhams) before we even get our first clients with assets under administration at anywhere over USD$200m on which you will only make 0.75bps to 1.25bps

    The Premier’s efforts and those of this Delegation are a start, in addition to the 4 or 6 conferences attended in the UAE over the past 3 years, but lets stop fooling ourselves, until we are fully open for business in Bermuda with policies that stop strangling the Investor and Entrepreneur all we are doing is burning through capital expenditure on club world seats, per diem allowances and $500 hotel nights to pretend like Bermuda we can walk the walk.

    Stop fooling yourselves and drinking making tea from the same tetley teabag 3 times to show austerity………time for BOLD STEPS and TESTICULAR FORTITUDE.

    Leadership, Economy, Immigration, Crime, Education, Hotel Investment, Tourism Repositioning, Jobs for Bermudians, Jobs for Bermudians……….and now trying to manage the relaxation of 60/40 protection on a case by case basis…….does either of the OBA or PLP even have a macro plan to tackle these issues and implement a real strategy

    What we really need is 40 of Bermuda’s brightest and best RESIDENTS (Bermudian or Non Bermudian) to have a meeting, form a Party and sweep the Polls with results instead of the constant rhetoric from the OBA and PLP about what they are going to do when in power.

    @CHEEZ UMS BIE go and read a book or online publication like the financial times or wall st journal before you start typing


  9. Sandgrownan says:

    Makes sense. As a socially retarded jurisdiction, why wouldn’t we get involved in Sharia?

  10. Sandgrownan says:

    Is that red wine in a glass on the table in the dinner photo? Assume it wasn’t for one of our Arabic partners!

  11. God is made up, like a fairy tale says:

    Lots going on in London, Olympics, test match, Tour de France a train ride away, Open Golf…enjoy folks… I just hope its your last chance to laugh at those who voted you in.