Signs of confidence as company registrations soar
Government said Bermuda has the highest number of companies ever on the register plus it's seen a strong rise in new registrations in the first three quarters of the year.
Minister of Economic Development Grant Gibbons said yesterday this was proof of renewed confidence in Bermuda.
There were 139 new local registrations, a 26 percent increase over the 110 in 2012; plus 725 new international companies and partnerships, a 15 percent increase over the 632 in 2012.
“This is an early indicator of renewed confidence and new investment in Bermuda,” Mr Gibbons said.
The third quarter statistics reveal that we now have 19,270 companies registered in Bermuda.
“This peak comes after a relatively consistent decline in total companies over the last five years,” a Finance Ministry statement noted.
“The closest Bermuda has come to this in the past was in 2008, when there were 19,260 companies registered in Bermuda.
“The total number of companies registered in Bermuda has been slowly increasing throughout the first three quarters of 2013 (18,721 in the first quarter; 19,130 in the second and now 19,270 in the third).”
Mr Gibbons said: “This healthy increase in the total number of companies is being driven by new company registration.
“We are seeing a clear upward trend of local and international company formation for the first three quarters of 2013.
“The trend is consistent, proving it wasn't just a flash in the pan for the first and second quarters. The green shoots we saw in the first two quarters have continued into the third.”
The total number of new company registrations for the first, second and third quarter combined was 864, which is the highest number since 2008 and a 16 percent increase over the 742 reported in 2012.
Mr Gibbons added: “Many of these new companies will lead to job creation, particularly the local companies and those international companies that are developing a physical presence on the island. It demonstrates a growing sense that people are prepared to start up new ventures and reinvest in Bermuda.”
He continued: “While the full effect of these newly registered companies will not be felt immediately, over time we expect to see more widespread economic benefits from these companies. Not all, but many, will be renting office space, hiring staff, and purchasing goods and services from local providers.”
In the third quarter alone of 2013, 299 new companies registered in Bermuda — 44 local companies and 255 international companies.
This can be compared to the third quarter of 2012 which saw 240 new companies register in Bermuda and of those 29 were local and 211 were international. Likewise, in 2011 for the third quarter 247 new companies registered in Bermuda and of those 44 were local and 203 were international.
“It very encouraging to see that shipping companies and aviation-related companies play a significant part in these incorporations as providing support for these sectors was part of our Throne Speech commitment.”
There was also an increase in the registrations of investment fund companies, positively reflecting on the newly reenergised investment fund legislative and regulatory environment.
Minister Gibbons concluded, “Overall, this is extremely good news for Bermudians and Bermuda business, it demonstrates quantitative evidence that there is growth and renewed confidence in Bermuda as a place to do business.
“Over the next few months we hope to build upon this positive momentum through the combined efforts of the Ministries of Economic Development, Finance, Home Affairs, the BMA and our partnership with the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA).”
In a statement last night, the Progressive Labour Party's Shadow Economic Development Minister Glenn Blakeney said: “While at first glance it is welcoming to see an increase in registrations, we are more concerned with the jobs that may or may not accompany these registrations.
“There have been a large number of job losses, both reported and unreported over the past few months in international business. There are many unemployed Bermudians whom are having a challenging time finding opportunities to re-enter the workforce.
“We would rather the OBA government focus their efforts on job creation and discussions with these companies on how these unemployed Bermudians will be able to restart their once promising careers, versus putting out press statements that really are meaningless to those that are unable to sustain themselves with full-time jobs.”
Mr Blakeney added: “We appreciate the increase in registrations, and the taxes that will likely come with this, however, to the every day Mr and Mrs Bermuda, jobs are what is key. Prior to December 2012 we heard from the OBA that they would create 2000 jobs. Now, almost a year into their term, they have yet to even articulate a plan to create these jobs.”