Bermuda to Become a Leading Centre for Islamic Finance

Bermuda's Premier Craig Cannonier at World Islamic Economic forum in London, 29-31 October

LONDON, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Bermuda plans to become a leading Western destination for Islamic finance, building on its world-leading position in insurance and reinsurance.

The Hon. Craig Cannonier, Premier of the Government of Bermuda, is attending the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in London this week, to promote Bermuda's position as a hub for Sharia-compliant finance.

Bermuda has rapidly built its capability in and infrastructure for Islamic finance and has established partnerships with the financial centres of a range of Muslim countries.

Bermuda has signed a double taxation agreement with Bahrain and Qatar.

Premier of Bermuda, Hon. Craig Cannonier, said: "We are at the World Islamic Economic Forum to continue the talks and further the relationships that were established two years ago when we first announced our becoming a Sharia-compliant financial hub.

"We recognise that not only is the world around us changing, but that the economy is changing with it. Bermuda is well recognised as the leading offshore financial centre for the insurance and reinsurance industries, with world-class support services such as legal and accounting, which make extension in to Islamic finance a logical development where we have a leading global competitive edge."

Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing financial sectors and counted approximately $1.2 trillion global Islamic banking assets at the end of 2012.

Notes to editors

About Bermuda

The Islands of Bermuda ("Bermuda") is a self-governing British Overseas Territory (BOT), located in the North Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States. Bermuda has a population of some 65,000 and has the fourth-highest income per capita in the world. Its capital city is Hamilton.

Executive authority is held by the Crown and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor of Bermuda. The United Kingdom controls the foreign affairs of the territory and an elected government, modelled on the bicameral parliamentary system, administers to the internal interests of territory. The Government of Bermuda is led by the office of Premier and a cabinet which is appointed by the Governor on the Premier's suggestion. The Hon. Craig Cannonier is the Premier of Bermuda and was elected to the position in 2012.

The economy of Bermuda is centred on international business and the provision of financial services to that sector. It is a world capital for the insurance and reinsurance industries due to the territory's unique business regulations and lower levels of taxation. The territory maintains strong interests in transparency and proactive cooperation on matters of international taxation, holding bilateral Tax Information Exchange Agreements with 90% of the members of the G20; 76% of OECD and 52% of EU member states.

Bermuda accounts for some 100,000 jobs in the UK, more than that of the economy of Japan.

In September of 2013, Bermuda joined the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters to facilitate cooperation between jurisdictions in the assessment and collection of taxes, in particular to combat tax avoidance and evasion. Bermuda has long been recognised as the gold standard for offshore financial centres in terms of compliance and transparency.

About The World Economic Islamic Forum

The 9th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) will be held at Excel London on 29 - 31 October 2013, bearing the theme "Changing World, New Relationships" to encapsulate the emergence of new economic linkages between nations across borders, religions and cultures in a fast changing world. This year, WIEF will provide a high level platform for leading global government leaders, captains of industries, academic scholars, regional experts, professionals, corporate managers, policy makers, innovators, business leaders and investors to discuss opportunities for business partnerships in the Muslim world.

The Forum is organised by the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation. http://www.9thwief.org/Home.aspx

SOURCE: Government of Bermuda

For further information:

Simon Brocklebank-Fowler, Cubitt Consulting, T: +44 20 7367 5101, M: +44 7919 332 721 ; Simon Barker, Cubitt Consulting, T: +44 (0)20 7367 5119 , M: + 44 (0)7919 332 735

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Government of Bermuda

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