By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
A Cabinet minister yesterday said "liberalisation" is needed to allow the Bahamas to fight the challenges of the modern economy.
While addressing Parliament, Brent Symonette, minister of financial services, trade and industry and Immigration, said the financial sector - the second pillar of this nation's economy - "needs help". "It definitely needs our help, our assistance. It needs a lot of things, as with the wider part of the economy," said Mr Symonette.
"One of the issues that I think we hope to look forward to in this coming session is the liberalisation of the Bahamas, so we can fight the challenges of the modern day economy here in the Bahamas and around the world."
Last week, while addressing the Association of International Bank and Trust Companies' (AIBT) Nassau Conference, Mr Symonette acknowledged the need to transform areas that support the financial services industry.
He outlined several change affecting areas such as Immigration, the ease of doing business and the processes for permanent residency approvals.
Mr Symonette told Parliament that immigration is a 'topical issue' that needs to be dealt with. "It is high time we deal with this problem," Mr Symonette said, arguing that, "for too long we have swept it under the carpet. Now is the time that it will be dealt with, fairly, humanely and within the constitution."