Burt leads Bermuda delegation to Florida

18-10-2018

Mutual investment, business, and job-growth opportunities shared by Bermuda and Florida were the focus of talks held in Miami by Premier David Burt and members of city and statewide chambers of commerce.

The meetings with leaders of the Florida and Miami-Dade Chambers of Commerce were organised by the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) ahead of its day-long Bermuda Executive Forum in the city. Topics discussed ranged from reinsurance, sea-level rise, sustainable energy and healthcare, to construction, shipping and fintech.

“When we're focused on economic diversification and investment in Bermuda, it's valuable to have these types of discussions with chambers of commerce, and these meetings were very beneficial,” said Premier Burt, who was accompanied by BDA chief executive officer (CEO) Sean Moran, Junior Minister of Finance Wayne Furbert, and Wayne Caines, National Security Minister with responsibility for ICT Policy & Innovation.

“Miami is a gateway city to Latin America, with a rapidly expanding economy, so we need to look at how we can do more business with Florida as it continues to grow,” Burt added. “Both chambers are interested in continuing the dialogue and in sending delegations to visit us, which is good to hear. We need to attract more people to Bermuda to see the opportunities available, and hopefully attract economic growth.”

Bermuda's significant role in helping the state's communities recover from catastrophic storms was highlighted in the Premier's conversation with Mark Wilson, president & CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the state's largest business-advocacy organisation, which has been dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael's devastation throughout Florida's coastal panhandle communities over the past week.

“Bermuda and Florida are natural partners, and reinsurance is a perfect example of that,” said Wilson. “If you think about the world's insurance risk, about a third of it is in Florida. We would be in trouble were it not for reinsurance companies in Bermuda being partners with us. Bermuda reinsurers are very much a part of Florida's economy.”

The Bermuda delegation also met with board members of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, which supports black businesses throughout south Florida. The group discussed economic diversification, including hydroponics, sustainable energy, and blockchain businesses such eco-tech, as well as construction, and training, re-skilling and education.

“This has been a tremendous opportunity having a dialogue with the Premier and Cabinet members,” said Eric Knowles, Miami-Dade Chamber's president & CEO. “We look forward to future opportunities to work with your businesses, and for businesses here to engage in trans-Atlantic trade.”

“These connections are valuable, and they begin the process of creating real business development opportunities,” said BDA Interim CEO Sean Moran. “The BDA's mission is to foster an environment for our island's economic growth, and these discussions certainly set a foundation to achieve that goal. By exploring ways we can partner with onshore business associations and communities with common interests, we help create a win-win environment for all involved.”

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