Bermuda is looking to open its first Islamic financial institution before the end of 2010 as it seeks to become an Islamic banking hub for the USA.
"The landmark double taxation treaty with Bahrain, the first of its kind in the region, has paved the way for possible cooperation in a variety of areas within the financial sector. We are certain that once the joint economic committee is announced this will look into all details of future cooperation," said Paula Cox, Bermuda's deputy premier and minister of finance.
Cox added that talks over Bermuda's Islamic banking plans are under way, with particular focus on takaful and other related asset classes.
It can be recalled that Islamic finance products had emerged relatively unscathed at a time the rest of the financial services industry fell in 2008.
"The indicators of study show that Bermuda can establish itself as a Takaful center in the Western Hemisphere. Just look at the size of the US market and the chances of attracting huge business by Takaful companies based in Bermuda are very bright," noted Colm Holman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
To further support its plans, Bermuda also plans to transform itself into a tourist destination for those traveling between the West and the GCC over the next months.