Created: Mar 10, 2022 07:59 AM
During the pandemic many people have become accustomed to doing business remotely.
But Acting Canadian Consul-General Khawar Nasim says post pandemic we will have to push for face-to-face interaction again.
He was speaking yesterday at the International Technology Summit 2022 in a panel on digital government and adoption of digital assets, an event that was held virtually and live.
“I would think one of the risks the Premier and I face, post pandemic, is calcification,” he said.
“People who would normally have travelled or gone to a trade fair might now say, that’s okay we will do it on the phone.
“We have to be active proponents of the face to face. We have to encourage people to get in here. I think Bermuda will sell itself.”
He spoke on the panel with David Burt, the Premier, and Kerem Kolcuoglu, managing partner of Penrose Partners.
He was in agreement with the Premier that the pandemic had spurred technological growth.
“It actually accelerated technological adoption in many instances, and accelerated an individual’s use of technology,” Mr Burt said.
“Imagine if this pandemic had happened 20 years ago before we had the internet.”
He said being able to pivot with technology allowed Bermuda to transact business very quickly.
He said Covid-19 gave Bermuda the opportunity to use technology in new ways. He gave the Safekey programme which uses QR code credentialling, as an example.
“Bermuda’s progress to date, and the momentum that Bermuda is picking up inside of the digital asset space, is meeting my expectations,” Mr Burt said.
Mr Nasim said technology is the path to prosperity.
“If you get left behind on technology, people will not wait for you,” he said.
“Adoption of technology will be the determination of how well economies respond to the global crises.”
He called the pandemic an opportunity to make big changes.
During the panel discussion, the Premier said getting Bermudians involved in digital technology was a key priority. To do this, the Bermuda Government has lowered some of the hurdles by introducing a test licence.
“The test licence only costs $1,000 and allows you to get access to an internationally reputable regulator, the Bermuda Monetary Authority,” Mr Burt said. “They are in partnership with us throughout this entire process. That has certainly put Bermuda on the map in this space.”
He said on the climate side, Bermuda is known as a place for risk management.
“On the local side we are introducing our energy regulatory sandbox that goes along the line of this sandbox that we have in digital assets,” Mr Burt said.
“We are going to be deploying wave technology in Bermuda as a large-scale plan. We want to make sure that Bermuda is open to investors and people who want to innovate and experiment here in Bermuda.”
Mr Burt said you have to put your money where your mouth is.
“We are focused on government,” he said. “We are exposing our data so that companies can build solutions off of that.”
Mr Nasim’s visit to Bermuda was the first he had made out of Canada since the pandemic began.
The five-day Tech Summit is being held online, and also at The Front Yard on Front Street, and at Innovation House on Reid Street. It ends on Friday.
International Tech Summit: Khawar Nasim, David Burt and Kerem Kolcuoglu (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
International Tech Summit: Acting Canadian Consul-General Khawar Nasim (Photograph by Akil Simmons)