Bahamas, July 12th 2017: PLP’s shadow finance minister, Chester Cooper, says his party stands ready to assist the Minnis led administration in developing a course of corrective action for The Bahamas economy. Cooper’s statement comes after Moody’s downgrade review. The Exuma MP says there was no sense in ‘blame-casting’, as the “failure of the FNM government will mean the failure of The Bahamas”. However, he called for “a bi-partisan approach to be held by the government despite differing philosophies and approaches”.
Describing the plan as mere ‘optics’, in managing the debt, he urged the new FNM government to refrain from borrowing the $322M for deficit spending this fiscal year. He called on the FNM to “develop an economic recovery strategy that will encompass drawing in more foreign direct investment”.
His advice, organic growth driven by domestic investment and entrepreneurial growth through the streamlining of the business license process and significant investment in entrepreneurship via the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund.
Cooper added he did not subscribe to the “cup-board bare pessimism”, instead pointed out opportunities for growth he says his government left in tranche, such as “Bahamar, an aviation agreement, opportunities for energy reform, a pathway for re-vitalising and re-opening hotels in Freeport and other initiatives left in place by the former Government”.
Meanwhile, the MP for Exuma, cautioned the government over dealings with businessman Sarkis Izmirlian adding that it “must reject any suggestion that fosters uncertainty regarding the Baha Mar development and its new owner Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd”. Citing the stalled opening of Bahamar for the S&P downgrade, Cooper warned that Izmirlian should not be allowed to reacquire the property at Cable Beach, if Bahamar is to succeed. He says while “Mr. Izmirlian remains a friend to The Bahamas and is a permanent resident of this country, a prudent government would assist him in finding another project in the country”, suggesting “the property at South Ocean”.
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
CUBAN MIGRANTS DETAINED ALONG EXUMA CHAIN
Defence Headquarters 28 SEP ’23: HMBS P-45 under the command of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith detained a group of Cuban migrants in Cistern Cay, Exuma on September 27, 2023, due to information received from a Good Samaritan vessel in the area that handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Members of HMBS P-45 retrieved twenty-eight (28) Cuban nationals and transported them to HMBS Coral Harbour in New Providence. All individuals appeared to be in good health and will undergo further processing and assessment by Immigration officials.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage and appreciates the sharing of information and intelligence provided by the boating community to affect migrants and other unlawful interdictions at sea.
(For additional information, contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at www.rbdf.gov.bs. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel).
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
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