NIA makes headway as it seeks to expand Financial Services Sector

Mr. Colin Dore, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration (file photo)
Mr. Colin Dore, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration (file photo)

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 22, 2018) — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is making progress as it seeks to expand the Financial Services Sector by 50 percent over the next five years, following an earlier announcement in the Throne Speech and the 2018 Budget Address.

Mr. Colin Dore, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance says they have identified a consultant and are in discussions.

“One of the things we have done is to seek to identify a consultant to look at where we are in the Financial Services Sector. Examine the range of products that we have and try to determine, what are the options for us towards achieving the 50 percent, what are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? Are there any changes of direction; change of policy that we need to embrace? And so all of these would be part of the mandate of the consultant,” he said.

Mr. Dore expressed hope that discussions would conclude in early September and by the end of 2018, the first phase of the process would commence.

That stage would entail the consultant’s physical presence on the island to gather data, analyze it in terms of the sector and then advise the administration on how to move forward into 2019.

The permanent secretary added that they are also seeking to embrace new products for the sector, as part of the administration’s thrust towards moving into an advanced age in which information technology development is now driving the way in how business is transacted.

“The whole idea of cryptocurrency has been around. Government has indicated clearly its intention to embrace it. We now have to look to see what are our strengths in this area; our ability to regulate such a sector; and to see how we can encompass this new area as part of our financial services development.

“So we have done two things. We are conducting the study to see what we need to change in terms of our existing procedure and we are looking at new products that can be introduced into the financial services sector to help us achieve 50 percent growth over the next five years,” he said.

Mr. Dore stated that the NIA wants to fully embrace the new technology and they are looking at how they can get the Financial Services Sector to fully embrace it to commence operations in that area.

He described cryptocurrency as an electronic wallet which replaces the use of transactions using the traditional dollars and cents and credit cards.

“You basically have an electronic chip which has value in it and you can transfer funds from one electronic wallet to another electronic wallet, if you have two persons who have signed up for Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin technology,” he said.

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