Bermuda seeks business in Belarus
Bermuda has launched a bid to drum up business in the former Soviet Union.
A group from the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) held a roadshow in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, hosted at the home of the British ambassador, aimed at boost business links with central and eastern Europe (CEE) countries.
BDA CEO Ross Webber said: “We were pleased to be invited to provide information about Bermuda's strengths as a top-tier financial centre.
“We recognise that the Island could be beneficial to CEE countries, for their reinsurance needs in particular, and therefore we welcomed the opportunity to put forward the facts about our jurisdiction and thank our partners at the embassy and the British-Belarus Chamber of Commerce.”
British Ambassador Bruce Bucknell told guests at the meeting, held at the end of last month, that Bermuda was a world-class financial centre with tax treaty arrangements with more than 80 countries.
Kiril Savrassov, president of the British-Belarus Chamber of Commerce and head of Bermuda-based reinsurers Phoenix CRetro, said that the region lacked information on the Island and that it was often regarded as a dodgy and unregulated offshore jurisdiction.
Mr Savrassov added: “Many regulators and central banks still consider Bermuda as a ‘wild' offshore destination with a lack of regulation.
“This is completely contrary to the truth, as anyone familiar with Bermuda knows. But the result is that regional insurers are either banned by legislation from working with Bermuda partners or are heavily taxed for any premiums transferred.”
He said: “In real terms, it means that about 40 per cent of available capacity, care of Bermuda's reinsurers, simply vanishes from consideration.”
And Mr Savrassov added that Bermuda could capitalise on the low rate of catastrophe bonds in the region.