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Economy minister to speak at Dubai summit

Economy and labour minister Jason Hayward at the Fintech Islands conference in Barbados last month (Photograph supplied)

Economy and labour minister Jason Hayward will travel to the Middle East next week to speak at an event celebrating achievements of the Black community.

An article in African Business on Wednesday said that he would share his expertise and insights at the upcoming Global Black Impact Summit in Dubai on February 27.

The trip to the United Arab Emirates comes little more than a month after Mr Hayward travelled to a fintech conference in Barbados. The trip cost almost $5,000.

Mr Hayward’s expenses for the Fintech Islands Experience 2024, or FiX24, which took place from January 24 to 26 in Bridgetown, were published recently on the Government’s Travel Calendar.

The listing shows that the minister’s flights cost $3,605.50, while accommodation was $996.04, ground transport was $46.25 and meals were $68.75.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Economy and Labour said at the fintech event that the minister “used the opportunity to elaborate on Bermuda's value proposition and our regulatory environment, as it is important to highlight what sets Bermuda apart from other jurisdictions.”

He added: “A number of businesses, lawyers and advisers are seeking places to domicile or places for the clients to domicile.

“Bermuda must be deliberate in marketing and promotional activities, as we cannot take for granted that the world knows what Bermuda has to offer.”

At the event, Mr Hayward spoke on a panel titled “Advancing Blockchain as the New Technology of Trust: Navigating the Law and Finding the Right Regulatory Balance”.

It was the second Fintech Islands conference, the first having taken place in 2022 in Barbados.

The ministry spokesman said that Mr Hayward discussed topics including Bermuda's regulatory approach, the importance of thorough risk and regulatory assessments, licensing and oversight and the importance of industry collaboration and advocacy.

He added: “No other civil servant attended the conference.

“However, BMA and Bermuda's business community members attended the conference.

“With a strong and growing industry of international digital-asset businesses in Bermuda, the industry plays an essential role in advocating for Bermuda at the most significant events worldwide to attract more companies under the Digital Asset Business Act.

“Events like Fintech Islands, among others, demonstrate how joint efforts between government and industry can serve to attract new business to our island.

“As the industry continues to evolve and as traditional institutions explore the innovations of fintech, we will ensure that Bermuda remains at the forefront, helping to craft a better ecosystem for all.”

Moad Fahmi, chief digital asset officer at the BMA, also spoke at the fintech conference.

A BMA spokeswoman said: “Moad discussed the critical role of stablecoins within the DeFi [decentralised finance] ecosystem, highlighting their structural importance in providing liquidity and facilitating transactions.

“He also shared insights on how Bermuda continuously adapts its regulatory framework to meet the unique challenges posed by the digital asset sector, emphasising the need for proper governance, rigorous risk management practices and international collaboration.

“This approach demonstrates Bermuda's commitment to prudence and innovation in navigating the complexities of regulating the evolving digital-assets industry.”

The article in African Business described next week’s Global Black Impact Summit, hosted by the Black Impact Foundation and organised by Energy Capital and Power, as an annual event promoting excellence and exploring untapped potential across various fields.

It stated: “Drawing from his experience, minister Hayward brings a unique perspective to GBIS 2024.

“His background in the economic and national accounts division of the Department of Statistics, coupled with his leadership roles in prominent unions, equips him with insights into labour relations, economic development and community advocacy.”

The Ministry of Economy and Labour said in a statement that Mr Hayward was participating in SALT Investopedia 2024, an investment conference.

“Additionally, he will engage in discussions on economic development with several agencies and government officials, including the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

“[He] plans to meet with the Emirates Family Office Association to promote Bermuda's updated family office framework.”

NOTE: This article has been edited to include a statement from the Ministry of Economy and Labour.

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Published February 23, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated February 27, 2024 at 6:00 am)

Economy minister to speak at Dubai summit

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