“Promoting economic growth here at home requires us to safeguard Bermuda’s interests overseas,” said Premier the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, as he set out how the Government of Bermuda will interact in key overseas jurisdictions in this new year.
“In 2018, much of our attention and resources had to be diverted to deal with the assessment of Bermuda’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime by the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce (CFATF) and later in the year, to address the issues of economic substance requirements imposed by the EU. With much of that work done and now that the balance of power has shifted in Washington DC, we will take this opportunity to renew our efforts to staff-up the DC Office.”
The public will recall that pending the re-opening of the Government’s office in Washington DC, the Cabinet Office has continued lobbying efforts on behalf of the Government of Bermuda through The Group, a Washington-based lobbying organization that provides US regulatory guidance to the Government. With the investment in the infrastructure and the prime location of the office, the space has been retained and will again be the location of the Government’s office in Washington DC.
“The London Office and its team of experts have been invaluable since opening. Our constitutional arrangement demands close links with the UK and it is critical that we have firsthand knowledge of the workings of Westminster. With Brexit looming for the UK, the London Office has kept us, here at home, fully briefed and strongly advocated for Bermuda to address any impact the UK’s exit from the EU might have.”
Currently, the Government of Bermuda has a contract with Steptoe which is shared between the Ministry of Finance and the Cabinet Office. Steptoe provides professional services on European and international law and policy. They assisted with the Government’s response to the European Union Code of Conduct Group/Economic Substance, issues pertaining to Brexit and EU matters as directed.
“The need for direct interaction with the EU has been shown in the months of work that led to the adoption of the Economic Substance Act 2018. Like other jurisdictions, Bermuda has become an international target of European, localized politics. This threat can and will be met by direct engagement in Brussels on behalf of the Government of Bermuda. I am pleased to confirm that an office location has been identified. Before the end of this month, we will have established a presence in Brussels.”
“To ensure we have the ability to create the conditions for continued economic growth here at home; to deliver on our promise to lift up people in need of help; and to create opportunities for young people investing in education here and abroad, the Government is determined to lead the management of our international relationships to the benefit of the people of Bermuda. Our investment in these global activities is designed to promote our interests abroad while safeguarding our future here at home.”