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Tannock: Social stability key to prosperity

Urging collaboration: Patrick Tannock, chairman of Abic

Bermuda’s social fabric is “fragile” and its future prosperity depends on collaboration between the business sector and all segments of the community.

That was the message from Patrick Tannock, chairman of the Association of Bermuda International Companies, who was speaking at the organisation’s annual meeting yesterday.

Mr Tannock said: “Let’s not forget that the challenges of Bermuda business to remain relevant in the global market are relentless and that economic stability and social stability go hand in hand. And while our value proposition as a top business jurisdiction remains strong, our social fabric is fragile.

“So we need to continue to keep our fingers on the pulse of our Bermuda community and pursue every opportunity to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that Bermuda remains the business domicile of choice.”

He announced a new Abic education award aimed at assisting locals interested in upgrading their skill sets.

“Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the Abic Education Award,” Mr Tannock said. “As part of our celebration of the anniversary, we have invited ABICEA alumni to contribute to this special award that will help mature individuals, who are interested in upgrading their skill sets so that they remain relevant in an ever-evolving, highly competitive global marketplace, to pursue new educational and career goals.

“Through the ABICEA Give Back Campaign we plan to raise funds directly based on financial donations from our alumni, many of whom have excelled in their professions and have made significant contributions to the island’s business sector.”

This year Abic is supporting 21 students with scholarships. Over the past ten years, the ABICEA has supported more than 570 students, through more than $5 million invested by Abic members and ABICEA donations.

Abic advocates “balanced government policies that maintain Bermuda as a well-respected domicile of choice” and Mr Tannock said Abic was encouraged by the spirit of collaboration between the major political parties on social stability.

The organisation has this year met with both political parties and labour unions, discussing matters including proposed changes to payroll tax and immigration matters. And it is also a member of the Bermuda Government’s External Affairs Strategic Steering Committee.

Mr Tannock described the Everybody’s Business campaign, which aims to spell out why international business is important to everyone through print and electronic media.

Abic is also working with schools to develop an economics curriculum, expected to be rolled out in the new year, he said. And young professionals have met with students at CedarBridge Academy and Berkeley Institute to talk about career opportunities.

Mr Tannock added that Abic was exploring use of the Bermudascholarships.com website to advertise summer and entry-level jobs.

Abic has taken on fiduciary responsibility for the website, of which it is the founding sponsor, and a rebuild of the site backed by several sponsors was recently completed.