CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – Efforts to expand the Financial Services Sector are underway, with the the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) targeting an expansion of 50 percent over the next five years, following an earlier announcement in the Throne Speech and the 2018 Budget Address.
Colin Dore, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance says they have identified a consultant and are in discussions.
“One of the things we have done is to seek to identify a consultant to look at where we are in the Financial Services Sector” Dore said. “It’s essential to examine the range of products that we have and to determine what the options are for us to achieve the 50 percent, what are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? Are there any changes of direction; change of policy that we need to embrace? And so all of these would be part of the mandate of the consultant.”
The permanent secretary expressed hope that discussions will conclude in early September and by the end of 2018, the first phase of the process would commence.
That stage would entail the consultant’s physical presence on the island to gather data, analyze it in terms of the sector and then advise the administration on how to move forward into 2019.
The permanent secretary added that they are also seeking to embrace new products for the sector, as part of the administration’s thrust towards moving into an advanced age in which information technology development is now driving the way in how business is transacted.
“The whole idea of Cryptocurrency has been around,” Dore said. “Government has indicated clearly its intention to embrace it. We now have to look to see what our strengths are in this area; our ability to regulate such a sector; and to see how we can encompass this new area as part of our financial services development.
“So we have done two things. We are conducting a study to see what we need to change in terms of our existing procedure and we are looking at new products that can be introduced into the financial services sector to help us achieve 50 percent growth over the next five years.”
Dore stated that the NIA wants to fully embrace new technology. It is looking at how to get the Financial Services Sector to fully embrace it to commence operations in that area.
The permanent secretary described cryptocurrency as an electronic wallet which replaces the use of transactions using traditional dollars and cents and credit cards.
“You basically have an electronic chip which has value in it and you can transfer funds from one electronic wallet to another if you have two persons who have signed up for Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin technology,” he concluded.