Report: Bermuda has built up US trade as other offshore centres suffered
Bermuda became a more prominent trading partner with the US as other offshore financial centres suffered from the fallout from the financial crisis.
That is according to the US-Bermuda Economic Relations: Economic Impact Study 2011 conducted by Dr Charles Ludolph, senior vice-president of the Washington DC-based Albright Stonebridge Group. The report, which was obtained by The Royal Gazette, revealed that the two-way trade in services between the two countries had grown to more than $80 billion by the end of last year.
Bermuda also became the leading supplier of reinsurance to America averaging $20 billion in payments or as much as $35 billion in recovered losses annually and the leading export market for the US primary insurance sector in 2010, while US exports of research and development and testing services to companies here rose by $2 billion during the recession.
The study found that over 2010 the Island was the fourth largest investor in US government bonds, the eighth largest investor in the US, the fifth largest export market for banking and investment funds, the eighth largest for shipping services and the 11th largest for business services.
In addition, Bermuda represented the 14th largest market for all US services exports, exluding royalties and service fees and was the 10th largest portfolio capital investor.
The overall economic relationship between Bermuda and the United States continued to expand through the 2000s, wrote Dr Ludolph, who is due to report his findings at a Business Bermuda meeting next week.
The relationship even strengthened during the most recent global economic crisis as Bermuda continues to offer economic advantages that met US business needs and expanded employment opportunities.
Furthermore the report concluded that the Islands prominent position in the US marketplace, particularly in insurance, was due to a number of factors including its proximity to the US financial and capital markets, UK and US compatible law and regulation and extensive financial regulatory co-operation and quality.
And it surmised that Bermudas economic independence from larger global financial centres and concentration in niche risk insurance sectors which were not correlated with the worlds financial meltdown gave it a more competitive capacity.
The Islands trade and investment relationship with the US helped to sustain 300,00 jobs during 2010, with 101,000 US jobs created by annual exports to Bermuda and 200,000 were derived from US majority-owned affiliates of Bermuda companies.
From a re/insurance perspective, approximately 75 percent of the 500 top American companies have captives in Bermuda, while Bermuda-domiciled shipping companies provided $1.1 billion in energy-related shipping services designed to work with existing US refineries, ports and pipelines.
The report said that US operating companies continued to domicile in Bermuda, with Freescale, Marvell, Contel, AOSL and Chipmos moving base to the Island since 2006. Since 2008, these chip companies provided more than $3 billion of service-based export business to Bermuda in testing and research and development services thus creating more US jobs.