Today I will explore a little further the theme of  Plan D — the Diversification of Bermuda’s economy.

Can you hear me now?

Since 2005 the PLP has been driving reform in our telecommunications sector, resulting in a complete restructuring of telecommunications in Bermuda and the availability of advance communication technologies such as WiMax. 

WiMax is a wireless broadband that can broadcast over a 35 mile radius and transmit at speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (mbps). We can currently only get up to 25mbps yet even this has jumped up from very low speeds a year ago. Thanks to this PLP initiative, we should see WiMax-type speeds become a reality in Bermuda by 2015.

We will now be able to conduct real time remote global collaborations. Physical distance should no longer be a handicap to conducting business collaboratively across the globe. This is incredibly important for our existing mature financial IB sector, but also for Bermudians to be able to exploit these other sectors to grow our foreign revenues and so increasing our GDP. We could then create centres of excellence here  that could grow globally from Bermuda:

Technology Apps development — for download for sale onto smart phones or tablets across the globe, just like we buy ourselves here in Bermuda. This is a massive global market and Bermudians could exploit this market remotely with these improved telecommunications.

Songwriter collaborations and sales through the likes of iTunes — There are already local Bermudians doing this to a degree now, but we need to see more doing so that we can grow our local talent and their global exposure. Improved telecommunications can make this even more of a reality.

We would have the opportunity to grow a remote medical tourism market through access to internationally recognized experts who could conduct the operations from anywhere in the world. This could attract medical tourists for operations such as plastic surgery, IVF for infertility or any other appropriately marketable medical procedure. 

Pass the Sunscreen

Speaking of Tourism, we should develop our travel sector by introducing new airlines such as COPA and Caribbean Airlines. 

With these airlines we would be able to open up more international routes to the Caribbean, Latin American, Africa and beyond. 

Creating an airline hub here in Bermuda could boost our flagging leisure tourism sector as well as opening up medical, environmental and other tourisms. Niche tourism markets are the key to increasing our bed occupancies here in Bermuda. We have been ignoring the obvious; package holidays to other destinations are cheaper. Could the fact that many of those destinations have their own airlines have anything to do with it? 

The PLP introduced the ‘Blue Economy’ initiative. We believe that we could exploit this opportunity directly for Bermuda’s gain and use the opportunity to create a global environmental academia and eco-tourism hub here in Bermuda. It could possibly rival the likes of Woods Hole in the US. 

We could even focus this in St George’s, revitalizing the Old Town similar to what we have done with cruise ship tourism at Dockyard.

Gambling and drugs

We haven’t even gone into the ever popular discussion of whether Bermuda should exploit gambling tourism or legalized marijuana tourism like that of Amsterdam or as is about to happen in ‘Aspen-dam’ in the US. This can undoubtedly boost our airline and cruise ship arrival numbers.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, but more importantly, we have a lot of potential ahead of us. Potential for ordinary Bermudians to empower themselves into not just being talented workers, but evolving into business owners. The choice is clear: either begin to chart a new path for ourselves & our fellow Bermudians or, do as the OBA suggests, merely wait on trickle down, from their inner circle.

Our philosophy is that as Bermudians, we must become masters of our own destiny. We do not want Bermudians waiting on hand-outs from anyone. We reject the old Bermuda Company philosophy of empowering its majority shareholders, and relying on trickle-down economics for mere survival. We reject making the rich richer and the poor poorer. We reject Thatcherism.

We are for all Bermudians, and we will act accordingly. For that, we do not apologize. 

carib_pro@yahoo.com