Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2016 Contents JUNE 23 • 2016 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG21
The Bahamas Minister of Financial Services Hope
Strachan has revealed that the country is being devel-
oped as a trade hub in Chinese currency---a move
that is expected to give the country s financial services
sector a major boost.
"In recent times, The Government of The Bahamas
has taken advantage of several opportunities for
project financing from the Chinese Government and
from Chinese corporations," she disclosed in Parlia-
"As a result, the establishment of a hub for trade
in Chinese currency is an attractive prospect that
the Government of The Bahamas has approved, and
my Ministry is diligently pursuing this initiative as
a viable project."
The minister said that the success of this project
would translate into an entirely new frontier of finan-
cial services and trade business for the country and
would be a "monumental achievement" in making
The Bahamas the Renminbi (RMB) Trading Hub for
the entire region. She said that the hub would facilitate
financial transactions and eliminate reliance on the
"The rationale is that the Bahamas Government,
Bahamian businesses, financial institutions as well
as those throughout the region would have the ability
to engage in less costly and less time-consuming
processes related to transactions involving the direct
clearing and payment of the Yuan currency in The
Bahamas," Strachan said.
"It would eliminate reliance on the US dollar and
the transacting of business through the United States.
The creation of a platform for the Yuan to trade freely
with the Bahamian dollar will allow for international
trade finance, and trade and investment to increase
She said further that as foreign businesses set up
shop in the country, the potential to increase business
activity would be further enhanced. It would also
allow for an efficient business framework, underpinned
by factors ranging from The Bahamas position as a
well-respected international financial centre to its
strategic geographic location to North American and
Latin American markets; and it would facilitate trading
without the hurdle of an additional layer of foreign
exchange cost and currency risk, and have transactions
settled within a favourable time zone (Eastern Standard
"An increase in international trade finance, trade
and investment would create jobs for Bahamians and
strengthen the Bahamian economy. Economic slow-
down in the United States magnifies the importance
of the need to diversify cross-border trading with
other markets around the world.
"Further, new financial institutions would be estab-
lished in The Bahamas, including the introduction
of the first Chinese bank to the country," she said.
Jamaica s Finance Minister Audley Shaw says there is need
for an international lobby to highlight the risk to Caribbean
states of measures by developed countries and financial
institutions to tackle money laundering.
He said while international rules must be followed, concerns
must be registered when action is taken in an indiscriminate
"We have to clean up our act, and follow international
rules. At the same time, we have to register our concern
that there is a push by developed countries, along with
developed financial institutions, to put pressure on states
like Jamaica and other Caribbean countries because of anti-
money laundering concerns," Shaw noted.
He was speaking at the 2016 Outlook for the Future forum,
hosted by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), in
the United Kingdom.
The minister told the large audience that the Caribbean
region receives about US$5 billion worth of remittances
annually, about US$2 billion of which goes to Jamaica.
He said despite this and the trade between Jamaica and
the UK, there is the threat that major financial institutions
want to "lock their doors" to Jamaica on the basis of this
anti-money laundering mission.
"An international lobby has to be put in place so that we
don t go from one extreme to the other. About 40 per cent
of our economy is informal. If you lock the doors to a formal
economy, the informal one will take its place," he added.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister urged the Jamaican Dias-
pora to become more productive.
"We are encouraging every Jamaican, wherever in the
world you may be, to try to become more productive. The
conversation must change from how much remittances we
receive. While we recognise the importance of remittances,
there is a larger opportunity out there. There is opportunity
to merge our strengths, and Jamaicans abroad don t have
to come home to help us unlock the doors of potential," he
The Finance Minister was in London to attend a high-
level seminar and discussion on Governance for Sustainable
Development 2030: Supporting the Implementation of the
'Anti-money laundering measures risky for region'
as hub for trade in
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