Proper planning will boost the 60 per cent Bermudian jobs stake in international business.

And Premier Craig Cannonier said that ending term limits for overseas workers would help provide the investment to create more jobs for Bermudians.

Mr Cannonier said: “It’s our aim that we grow the market of 60 per cent Bermudians in the international business community by growing the succession plan.

“We were not getting Bermudians involved in the opportunities that do exist. There are far too few Bermudians in the accounting field — with the thousands of accountants we have here, very few were Bermudian.”

He added that, while there were hundreds of chef positions on the island, “a very small proportion” of these jobs were filled by Bermudians. Mr Cannonier said: “Succession planning hasn’t really been monitored and we are now having that dialogue out there with both local and international business.”

And he brushed off a row over the ending of term limits on work permits by Home Affairs Minister Sen. Michael Fahy.

Mr Cannonier said” “Term limits is now a subject of the past. It was important that international business knew that we heard them clearly.”

He added: “We are meeting with union representatives to ensure communications were done on a timely basis — but I do not believe they were not informed on where we were going with this.”

He added that — despite predictions from PLP MP Walton Brown that Government/labour relations would be more of a problem under an OBA Government — he expected a good working relationship to form.

Mr Cannonier said he had attended a meeting involving Government and trade unions.

Mr Cannonier added:  “I don’t believe the relationship with unions is strained at all. It was a good meeting. The assumption that this administration is going to have tougher communications with unions is, quite frankly, stretching it a bit by the Honourable Member. He’s making a certain assumption, which is a dangerous thing to do.”

Mr Cannonier said that expert advice given to the last Government was that term limits were not needed and that, instead, work permit policy should be more carefully managed.

He added: “I have spoken to east coast investors and they are ready to get involved in the country because they see that we are not only just open for business, the lights are on and we are standing at the registers.”

And Mr Cannonier said overseas investors boosted the economy by spending on groceries, in restaurants and in stores.

He added: “The waning and loss of Bermuda business is related to a lack of trust in Bermuda.

 “There are far too many homes empty and we need to fill these homes.”

He said: “A lot of fear has been created because there is a lack of information and misinformation out there. We want Bermudians to understand exactly what’s going on and where we are as a country.

“There are far too many businesses that have closed in the past and it’s my goal — and our goal — to stimulate the market.”

Mr Cannonier added that the key task for a wide range of Ministers was “getting jobs on the table and getting more people on the island, whether it’s people coming back home or foreign investors coming here.”

Mr Cannonier pointed to payroll tax breaks for employers who take on new Bermudian staff as helping business, while the community would be assisted in channeling seized dirty money into good causes.