David Burt, Bermuda Premier
David Burt, the Premier of Bermuda, kicked off the Bermuda Captive Conference on June 14, in an interview with Sophia Greaves, a director in the corporate department at Conyers Dill & Pearman in Bermuda.
In the keynote address, Burt said Bermuda has done “reasonably well” in dealing with the challenges presented by COVID-19 since the island suffered its first case in March 2020. As a small country that cannot stimulate its own economy in the same way as larger countries like the US and UK have done, Bermuda had fewer tools at its disposal, Burt said.
He admitted the Bermuda government had been caught by surprise by the level of vaccine hesitancy that existed in the country as it sought to distribute COVID vaccines. With the chance to do it again he would work harder to educate the population about the benefits of the vaccine, he said.
As a silver lining, Burt argued the pandemic has catalysed the innovation that was already occurring in the market, as office-based employees relocated to their homes. Bermuda has worked hard to position itself as a centre for technology and fintech, Burt said, with the Bermuda Monetary Authority working with re/insurers to ensure innovations can be brought to market swiftly. Bermuda is increasingly synonymous with digital assets and managing risk, he added.
As well as being the world’s risk capital and a centre for climate risk finance, Bermuda has also emerged as a global centre for managing digital assets, Burt noted.
Burt also noted the work the Bermuda government has done around tax reform, and quipped that he did not know if his premiership would be remembered for the pandemic or for the series of tax reform proposals he has overseen. He welcomed international efforts to promote tax fairness, insisting Bermuda will benefit in the long run by increasing social stability.
David Burt, Bermuda Captive Conference