FRIDAY, MARCH 2: Below are the two top essays from Business Bermuda’s essay contest which was themed: Bermuda: Physically small but globally significant.

Bermuda makes a difference through business and tourism

By Ashley Bento
Berkeley Institute, first place winner

Bermuda is world class in its hospitality, which makes it globally significant, and because of its size, quaintness, and beauty it’s like no other place in the world.

The island of Bermuda is approximately twenty-one square miles long, is known as a vacation attraction throughout the world.

This is very true, however; Bermuda is not only known for its fondness to bring in tourists, but from being globally significant through international businesses.

Bermuda has a prosperous economy with offshore finance as its largest sector, followed by tourism.

Bermuda has a developed international business economy; a financial exporter of financial services such as insurance, reinsurance and investment funds. 

These international businesses are based on the island, but these companies do not do any business locally, they simply conduct business with other companies and individuals in countries around the world. 

Why would these international companies do business in Bermuda? 

They choose to conduct business here in Bermuda because the island is easily reached by air from financial centers such as the United States and the United Kingdom; the political and economic stability; advanced telecommunications (Bermuda is one of the most wired countries in the world); world class hotels and restaurants; progressive laws and tax structures, also known as a taxation haven and its educated workforce.

Bermuda is the choice for most insurance-related solutions also known as ART which includes captive insurances, finite risk insurance and cat bonds. 

There are over 15,000 exempted or international companies registered here in Bermuda .

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bermuda shows how Bermuda is able to meet the same standards of a country twice its size.  Bermuda’s GDP in 2009 per capita was $97,000 placing the island as having the world’s largest GDP (per capita). 

This shows that even a country that is physically small can have a big impact in the world. 

The Bermuda Stock Exchange  (BSX) is the world’s largest electronic offshore market with current market capitalization in excess of $330 billion dollars.  BSX is a full member of the World Federation of Exchanges and it also has Approved Stock Exchange status under Australia’s Foreign Investment fund taxation rules. 

In knowing this, it shows that Bermuda is connected globally to other countries in the world.

Tourism is Bermuda’s second largest industry, which is known as an “invisible trade” — you can see its impact, but it is not tangible. 

The island attracts tourists through advertisements, word-of-mouth, and creating an environment that suits both citizens and visitors. 

More than 80% of the visitors that come to the island are from the United States, other visitors are from Canada or the United Kingdom.

This involves sharing of our culture and history of the island with people around the world.

Bermuda has history that is linked to other parts of the world such as Virginia; when Jamestown was founded, ships stopped in Bermuda for supplies such as meats and drinking water. 

The island has been globally connected since the beginning of its discovery and is continuing to execute other endeavors with other countries around the world.


International business makes us stand out in the world

By Ryan Robinson
Berkeley Institute, second place winner

I live in a country with 400 years of prosperous experience. I live in a country that is recognized as the 4th richest country in the world per capita. I live in a country ranked #20 on the world charts of life expectancy at birth. I live in a country that is 21 miles long, and yet is a major competitor to countries that are thousands of miles long.

I live in a country that is physically small, yet globally significant. I live in a British self-governing territory called Bermuda.

Bermuda is a beautiful overseas territory under Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Having survived 400 years out in the Atlantic Ocean, we are a people who have increasingly grown and prospered over the years. With a population of only 65,000, citizens are often well-known amongst each other. This has helped us to become a country with a reputation for peace, cooperation, and prosperity.

Because Bermuda is such a small, subtropical paradise, many foreign citizens think of us as a small, low-budget island, with a small local economy.  However, any person that does their research will know that this is not the case.  Bermuda is sustained by two large industries, the tourism and international business; however, undoubtedly, the industry that I believe makes us most stand out is international business. Large global companies have set up in Bermuda.. providing revenue and employment.  As a citizen of Bermuda, I recognize that we have a large world to compete with in this capacity. As a known tax-haven, Bermuda enjoys a per capita income that is higher than that of the United States, Canada, England, and other world leaders. The World Bank has rated Bermuda #1 in the world in GNI. In 2010, little old tiny Bermuda, with 67,400 residents, generated $5.85 billion of wealth — more than $91,477 per person.

Although Bermuda competes for business on a large scale, we must not forget about our natural beauty and history. It is very significant, and this is perhaps why tourism is our second largest industry.  Bermuda is extremely unique. Bermuda is the oldest British colony, has the oldest church in the Western hemisphere, has the third oldest continuously run parliament in the world, and boasts the town of St. George — the first continuously inhabited English town in the New World.

When thinking of Bermuda’s history, many Americans assume that our tiny country didn’t have much to do with America in its early days.  However, this is certainly not the case.  In the early 1600’s, pilgrims attempted to settle in Virginia.  Soon, there were only 50 settlers alive out of 300. A relief fleet was sent from England.  The fleet’s flagship, the Sea Venture, is the very ship that was the cause of Bermuda’s settlement in 1609.  After crashing on our reefs, the ship’s crew used Bermuda as a means of survival and, after a short stay in Bermuda, two boats, the Patience and Deliverance, were launched from our shores.  Soon after, those same two boats would rescue America’s first settlers.

Bermuda is one of a kind.  Of course, there are small things that make us unique – we are the farthest place north where one can find coral reefs, our beaches have pink sand, we have the smallest wooden drawbridge in the world, we have the most churches per square mile, and we have laws against things that ruin our natural beauty, such as international franchises and billboards. I could go on and on about the small things that make my country distinctively peculiar, but one thing is certain: As a citizen of a country that is considered a threat to the economies of world superpowers, I assure you that although physically, we are small, Bermuda is irrefutably, globally significant.