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Ashley’s winning essay helps promote Island

Have you ever had the feeling “I can achieve anything!” after you win a race or earn a good grade on an assignment you worked so hard for?

If so, that is exactly how I felt after finding out from my teacher that I had won the Business Bermuda Breakfast Essay Contest.

The topic the other contestants and I had to write about was ‘Bermuda: Physically Small Globally Significant’.

It simply means to find out what makes Bermuda so unique when it comes to connecting to other countries even though the island is small.

It was a great opportunity to sit with the other contestants and honoured guests (such as Education Minster and former Premier Dame Jennifer Smith, Business Bermuda CEO Cheryl Packwood and Endurance CEO David Cash) and listen to Mr Woolsey, former Central Intelligence Agency director talk about his spy work which was not as enchanting as I thought it would be.

Not only that, but he gave great advice to the winners urging us that we shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes but should have the courage to speak our beliefs in a polite manner.

He assured us that bosses want persons to give their opinion rather than just agreeing with them simply because they are in charge.

This was a great experience for me and I encourage others to enter the contest in the future because there is always a chance that there is something said that could open your mind to new things. And also, who wouldn’t want free breakfast?

Dear Mr Woolsey,

It gives me great pleasure and it is an honour to write to you about my beautiful island homeland Bermuda.

Bermuda is world class in its hospitality, which makes it globally significant, and because of its size, quaintness, and beauty it’s like no other place in the world.

The Island of Bermuda is approximately twenty-one square miles long, is known as a vacation attraction throughout the world.

This is very true, however; Bermuda is not only known for its fondness to bring in tourists, but from being globally significant through international businesses.

Bermuda has a prosperous economy with offshore finance as its largest sector, followed by tourism.

Bermuda has a developed international business economy; a financial exporter of financial services such as insurance, reinsurance and investment funds.

These international businesses are based on the Island, but these companies do not do any business locally, they simply conduct business with other companies and individuals in countries around the world.

Why would these international companies do business in Bermuda?

They choose to conduct business here in Bermuda because the island is easily reached by air from financial centres such as the United States and the United Kingdom; the political and economic stability; advanced telecommunications (Bermuda is one of the most wired countries in the world); world class hotels and restaurants; progressive laws and tax structures, also known as a taxation haven and its educated workforce.

Bermuda is the choice for most insurance-related solutions also known as ART which includes captive insurances, finite risk insurance and cat bonds. There are over 15,000 exempted or international companies registered here in Bermuda .

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bermuda shows how Bermuda is able to meet the same standards of a country twice its size.

Bermuda’s GDP in 2009 per capita was $97,000 placing the island as having the world’s largest GDP (per capita).

This shows that even a country that is physically small can have a big impact in the world. The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) is the world’s largest electronic offshore market with current market capitalisation in excess of $330 billion dollars.

BSX is a full member of the World Federation of Exchange and it also has Approved Stock Exchange status under Australia’s Foreign Investment fund taxation rules.

In knowing this, it shows that Bermuda is connected globally to other countries in the world.

Tourism is Bermuda’s second largest industry, which is known as an “invisible trade” you can see its impact, but it is not tangible.

The Island attracts tourists through advertisements, word-of-mouth, and creating an environment that suits both citizens and visitors.

More than 80 percent of the visitors that come to the island are from the United States, other visitors are from Canada or the United Kingdom.

This involves sharing of our culture and history of the island with people around the world.

Bermuda has history that is linked to other parts of the world such as Virginia; when Jamestown was founded, ships stopped in Bermuda for supplies such as meats and drinking water.

The Island has been globally connected since the beginning of its discovery and is continuing to execute other endeavours with other countries around the world.

Mr Woolsey, it would be my pleasure to meet with you for breakfast, to further discuss how globally significant we are as a country, although we are a small nation.

Sincerely, Ashley Bento

Breakfast of champions: Essay Contest winner Ashley Bento receives her certificate from Minister of Education Dame Jennifer Smith at the Business Bermuda Breakfast recently.

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Published March 22, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 22, 2012 at 9:01 am)

Ashley’s winning essay helps promote Island

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