A healthy Bermuda helps international business succeed.

This from George Hutchings, chairman of  The Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC), who addressed his members at the AGM yesterday. 

Mr Hutchings said: ““Bermuda and the international businesses based here have been through stormy times over the past few years. As a Bermudian and an IB leader, I have to confess I’ve found it distressing. But we are in this boat together, and the only way to a successful future is together. “

“IB’s interests are inextricably aligned with Bermuda’s. A healthy economy and social structure makes operating an IB business in Bermuda easier. Airline schedules are more robust, there are more goods and services on offer to our businesses and our employees and their families, the cost of operating in Bermuda goes down, crime is likely to diminish, the list goes on. If IB is both locally and globally successful, Bermuda’s economy will in all likelihood follow suit.”

He said Bermuda has experienced four straight years of economic contraction and unemployment hasn’t been this high since World War II. 

“Much of that contraction has come as a direct result of a changing world for our businesses where we have had to make decisions to remain competitive in the global economy. 

“As a result of both global and local pressures, IB’s economic contribution to the island has shrunk and in the process it has had a significant effect on the level of employment on the island throughout all sectors of the economy. 

“More than 5,000 jobs have been lost and many Bermudians are out of work, or have had their work hours reduced, and they are finding it impossible to pay for the necessities of life, food and shelter.”

He said ABIC has been focused on long-term solutions which will help Bermuda. 

Mr Hutchings said: “Let’s be realistic: there are no quick fixes to the problems that have developed over several years. Our initiatives may take a few years to be felt within the local community, but we are confident that in time Bermuda can thrive again. 

As I said, we are all in this together and ABIC is determined to do the things necessary to balance and serve the interests of Bermudians while pursuing policies that enable our businesses to thrive. I trust you all agree as well.”