NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The country’s digital economy should be a “fair and equitable environment” enabled by payment infrastructure that makes online digital payment transactions equally accessible to SMEs and MSMEs without burdensome costs or implementation challenges, according to the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC).
The private sector representative in its position paper on the digital economy said it supports “less complex and less expensive” infrastructure “that protects consumer data and will support the adoption of and access to digital services offered by the private sector, with an emphasis on SMEs and MSMEs”.
According to the BCCEC position statement, feedback on regulatory digital policies will be provided to the government from the perspective of the private sector and the role enterprise plays in the development of the digital economy of The Bahamas.
It noted: “Regulations must drive and facilitate growth of the private sector and new companies in the digital economy. The public interest will also be considered as part of a framework to fully realize the contribution of the private sector and benefits of digital transformation to consumers and to society.”
The BCCEC further noted: “The digital economy inherently reduces or removes the borders to trade. This feature is especially important to the development and expansion of businesses in the Family Islands.
“The BCCEC and partner organizations such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will collaborate on efforts to encourage competition and digital market reach for SMEs and MSMEs.
“Market forces dictate the need for local companies to implement digital strategies into their operations. The BCCEC will reinforce this need to support national economic growth and competitiveness, the development of new and incumbent businesses within the private sector and the expansion of the digital economy.”
The BCCEC also highlighted the need to protect intellectual property, noting in its position statement: “The nature of the digital economy blurs the lines between goods and services. The virtual, borderless nature of its commercial activities frequently are based on the creativity of service providers who provide value through their intellectual property.
“The protection of the intellectual property of Bahamian companies is paramount to grow the local digital economy and encourage cross-border trade. The prosecution of those who violate these protections should be enforced.”
It further noted: “Consumer data protection should take a customized approach according to the industry and depend on what is needed for that industry to operate efficiently and to realize the benefits of digital transformation for its consumers.
“However, the protection of that data should have a consistent approach that encourages the private sector adoption of data protection policies and clearly communicates the penalties of ignoring those policies.
“The BCCEC will support the advancement of a national cybersecurity framework throughout the private and public sector in The Bahamas, and the prosecution of those who violate these protection policies.”