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Baron upbeat on economy during RenRe visit

Reinsurance visit: Minister Jeff Baron and Stephen Weinstein, RenaissanceRe's general counsel, centre, with members of the RenRe team

Bermuda is “confidently emerging from the throes of an economic downturn”, a cabinet minister said on a visit to an international reinsurance company.

Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security, told staff of RenaissanceRe Holdings that the island was seeing steady growth and investor confidence had returned.

Mr Baron told RenRe staff that the company was “part of the fabric of Bermuda life” and added that the island is a “first-class jurisdiction because of the premium organisations that have chosen to call Bermuda home”.

RenRe was one of the reinsurers set up in Bermuda after Hurricane Andrew caused a dislocation in the insurance industry in 1992.

Mr Baron was invited to visit the company’s offices on East Broadway by Stephen Weinstein, RenRe’s Group General Counsel.

“Perhaps the Government’s main task in the local framework is to strike the correct balance of growth and economic recovery for the electorate and our business stakeholders,” Mr Baron said.

“This is not unique to us and we have continued to refine a message for the people of Bermuda that shows just how business success is their success. The signs are there. Retail sales are increasing, GDP growth is slow but steady; government spending continues to be tackled aggressively and local industries that had been contracting since 2008 have begun to show signs of steady growth.

“The return of investor confidence is a significant measurement of this government’s hard fought successes. Hotel development is being renewed and this is complimented by tourism arrival figures trending in a positive direction with this year’s first quarter rivalling the previous high point of 2008.

“There is a renewed buzz around Bermuda and that’s in part to our hosting of the America’s Cup. 2017 and the opportunities presented by hosting this incredible sporting event have turned the dial for Bermudian entrepreneurs and made an international audience turn back to Bermuda as a destination for leisure, large scale events and of course to do business. Every arm of government and indeed Bermudian society has tapped into the promise of the America’s Cup and the event signals the bright future we believe lays ahead for our island.”

Mr Baron also mentioned the recent visit to London by Michael Dunkley, the Premier, for talks with UK government officials on the impact on Bermuda of Briatin’s planned exit from the European Union.

Mr Baron said: “The long road we travelled to Solvency II and Bermuda’s well-known adherence to international standards has strengthened the likelihood that we will not be adversely impacted by Brexit and may well see some positive growth in the long term.”