Report Bermuda Studies Limits on Development

August 27, 2001

Bermuda’s rapidly developing offshore banking and insurance business is apparently causing problems for the island’s infrastructure which are serious enough to warrant a government study on how to limit future growth.

According to a report by Reuters News Agency the study is part of a government plan to give limited citizenship to long-term foreign workers, while restricting new work permits. The island’s growing economy currently requires a steady flow of foreign workers, and the only way to decrease it appears to be to slow overall growth.

There are currently around 8000 “permitted workers,” and over 4000 of their dependents working on the island out of a population of about 60,000. Only 400 or so will be eligible for permanent status initially, but this will grow in future years.

government plan exempts certain “key” positions, notably, according to Reuters, chefs, accountants, CFO’s and CEO’s. It also envisages easier access for companies which do not require large numbers of personnel, principally e-commerce and Internet providers. Present companies, such as ACE and XL, would likewise remain unaffected.

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