Premier: Charman’s comments ‘resonate with me’
Premier Craig Cannonier has given the thumbs up to insurance executive John Charman for his comments in yesterday's The Royal Gazette.
In an extensive interview, Mr Charman complimented the Government for some decisions made since its election on December 17, and said it had been dealt a “very bad hand” by the former administration.
But the veteran insurance executive called for bolder reforms to prevent the loss of job creators, and warned that international business executives would “vote with their feet” if they continued to be treated like “second class citizens”.
Mr Charman did not specify any policy changes he wanted implemented.
“I appreciate the comments and suggestions made by Mr Charman today,” Mr Cannonier told The Royal Gazette. “A number of his statements resonate with me, especially those relating to his sense of urgency to address the international business sector.
“He's right, we have been dealt a bad hand and as a government, we have a similar sense of urgency to act now to address their issues and attract foreign investors to help reinvigorate the economy and create jobs for Bermudians.
“That's why we've already made a number of policy changes to ensure they know we're serious about removing the barriers for them, and Bermudians, to succeed. In the past, there have been many examples of Bermuda either erecting barriers, or taking too long to make decisions, only to miss out on opportunities, and alliances, that would have put us in a better position today.”
The Premier also weighed in on Mr Charman's criticism of the British Government — he characterised it as “hypocritical” in its relationship with the Overseas Territories.
“As it relates to the British Government's relationship with the Overseas Territories, I've been very clear, both here and abroad, that Bermuda is a leader in tax transparency, and that we lead the way when it comes to the OTs as well as a number of G8 countries,” said the Premier.
“When it comes to solidifying our trading relationship with the US and our other trading partners, we are always looking for better ways to maximise our relationships, again with a sense of urgency for the benefit of all stakeholders, so I welcome the suggestions made by Mr Charman in that regard.”
The Progressive Labour Party was asked to comment, but declined.