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GB Minister Says Government to Make it Easier for International Professionals to do Business in GB



#Bahamas, November 15, 2017 – Grand Bahama – Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson said that the Government of The Bahamas is actively working on modernizing policies and procedures to make it much easier for international professionals to do business in Grand Bahama.

The ease-of-doing-business effort was one of many reasons Grand Bahama is an attractive destination, not just for vacation, but for business, the Minister said.   During his address to delegates who attending the 36th Triennial Conference in Grand Bahama, from November 13-18 at the Grand Lucayan, Minister Thompson listed a host of other features which he said made Grand Bahama a unique island in The Bahamas.

“We currently are in discussions to adjust our immigration policies to ease the process of travel and to gain residency here in The Bahamas,” Minister Thompson pointed out.   “We are inviting international companies, and hopefully clients like yourselves, and particularly those in manufacturing and technology industries to open up their head offices here in Grand Bahama.

“Our location and ready work force is ideal for development.   We are ideally also suited for housing international call centers and data storage centers.   Grand Bahama is simply a great place to live. We have affordable and ready available land just read for second home residents.

He congratulated the organizers of the Conference, pointing to the Federation’s outstanding achievement during their years of existence, during which time they experienced exceptional global reach.

“Throughout FIDA’s 73 years, the organization has been a vessel of change and progress through the provision of legal aid, educational programs and advocacy,” noted Minister Thompson.   “FIDA has been instrumental in the empowerment of women across the globe. Your efforts have been inspirational and we are honored to host you here in Grand Bahama.

listening intently“I wish to congratulate our very own president Jethlyn Burrows, FIDA’s international president, who exemplifies the values that FIDA stands for. We are very proud of what she has accomplished.”

The 36th Triennial Conference of the International Federation of Female Lawyers was held under the theme “the economic empowerment of women and children in an evolving world” and marked an historic moment in Bahamian history, as it was the first time FIDA has brought its conference to The Bahamas.

Minister Thompson encouraged international attendees that while in The Bahamas, they would take some time away from the conference to experience all that Grand Bahama has to offer.   He noted that Grand Bahama is more than just a place to visit, but a place where one could invest and do business.

Giving the conference delegates a little history of the island, Minister Thompson pointed out that the island of Grand Bahama has established itself as world renowned industrial and maritime center.

“Our close proximity to the United States, just 68 miles off the east coast of Florida, as well as our deep clear waters, has aided in the development of Grand Bahama’s Maritime Industry.   The Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited accommodates vessels from cruise, commercial and offshore segments of the maritime industry and is a world leader in dry docking, float repairs, refits, refurbishing and revitalizations.”

Minister Thompson gave the delegates insight into the special arrangement between the government and the Grand Bahama Port Authority through the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, which he noted, gave businesses in the Port area certain rights and benefits which helped to create a free trade zone on Grand Bahama Island.   This, he said, was really intended to spur economic development.

Further, Minister Thompson noted that the Government of The Bahamas has afforded business owners outside of the Port area, an opportunity to benefit from duty-free concessions.

“As we move forward in developing the future of Grand Bahama, I am completely certain that women will continue to play an important role in our economic advancement, in technology, politics, law, business and in many other industries.

“As exemplified in FIDA’s achievements, we expect that women will continue to play an important role in The Bahamas.”

By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)

Photo Captions:

LISTENING INTENTLY – Minister of State for Grand Bahama, in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson and President of the Senate, Senator Katherine Forbes-Smith listen intently during opening ceremonies of the 36th Triennial international Convention of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Monday, November 13, 2017 at the Grand Lucayan.  (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

MINISTER OPENS LAW CONFERENCE – Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson was the keynote speaker during opening ceremonies for the 36th Triennial International Convention of the International Federation of Women Lawyers at Grand Lucayan resort.  (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)




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Agreement inked between Bahamas and Dubai



#DUBAI, UAE, January 18, 2022 – A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Hon. Fred Mitchell and His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, today in Dubai.

The signing of this MOU begins a fruitful relationship between The Bahamas and the UAE. The UAE government is committed to providing technical assistance through their Technical Assistance Programme.  Embedded in the agreement, is a provision that at least fifty percent of the participants in the training programme are women.

Both The Bahamas and UAE are committed to working together on several fronts for the mutual advancement of both countries. The exchange of information will be invaluable as The Bahamas continues to push through the setbacks of the pandemic toward national and economic growth.


Photo Caption: Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas the Hon. Philip Davis, centre, Minister Mitchell, left, and HE Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan.

(Photo/OPM Communications)

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MP’s Graduate with Parliamentary Governance Certificates



January 18, 2022 – The Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU), in partnership with the Conservatives Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Programme, held an Online Graduation Ceremony on Friday January 14th 2022 for fifteen (15) Members of Parliament who successfully completed a one year certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance with McGill University in Canada.

This professional development certificate programme is recognized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and provided MP’s with important theoretical and practical knowledge in executing their roles and responsibilities as legislators. Sponsorship for the MP’s was provided by the Conservatives WFD Programme.

The successful graduates included:

  • Tracy Panton– MP Albert, UDP, Belize
  • Shyne Barrow – MP, Mesopotamia, UDP, Belize
  • Senator Hon. Sheena Pitts – UDP, Belize
  • Kerensia Morrison – MP St. Catherine North Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tova Hamilton – MP, Trelawny Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dr. Michelle Charles – MP, St. Thomas Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tamika Davis – MP, Hanover Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Rhoda Crawford – MP, Manchester Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Anne Marie Vaz – MP, Portland Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Krstyal Lee – MP, St. Anne North Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Robert Miller – MP St. Catherine South Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Heroy Clarke – MP, St. James Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dwight Sibblies – MP, Clarendon Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Morland Wilson – MP, Westmoreland Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Senator Hon. Shevern John – NDP, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Online Graduation Ceremony was attended by The Most Hon. Andrew Holness Prime Minister of Jamaica, Maria Miller Conservative MP UK, Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday Leader of the Opposition St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Patrick Faber Leader of the Opposition Belize, Carola Weil Dean of Continuing Studies McGill University, Nick Francis Secretary General CDU, and other officials from the UK Conservative Party’s International Department and Faculty and Staff from McGill University.

Mr. Nick Francis in his remarks at the ceremony noted that this initiative was birthed through greater engagement and consultation with stakeholders in the region in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and he was grateful to the administrators at McGill University for partnering with the CDU and the Conservatives WFD Programme to make this online training possible.

Hon. Patrick Faber and Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday extended congratulations to the graduates and expressed gratitude to the Conservatives WFD Programme, the CDU and McGill University on this successful collaboration to enhance parliamentary democracy in their respective countries.

A second cohort of trainees will commence the Parliamentary Governance Certificate with McGill University in March of this year and will include young prospective MP’s.


Dean of Continuing Studies at McGill University Carola Weil extended congratulations to the fifteen (15) MP’s for successfully completing the yearlong certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance and noted that this was an “important step towards the continuation of good governance and democracy around the world”

In addressing the graduates at the ceremony, Prime Minster the Most Hon. Andrew Holness noted his expectations that the training received will help to inform their advocacy, guide their involvement in policy development, and “contribute to a new cadre of political representatives that will always strive for the highest standards of excellence in governance, in parliamentary practice, and in political representation.”

Conservative MP Maria Miller UK in a pre-recorded message to the graduates (the majority being new female MP’s) noted that in light of the challenges facing women in politics, “the Conservative WFD Programme is committed to strengthening democracy by creating a much more inclusive, accountable and transparent political system.”


Press Release: CDU

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PM Davis’ Remarks at Wreath Laying Ceremony – Majority Rule Day 2022



Happy Majority Rule Day to all and thank you for coming

I thank the organizers of this wreath laying ceremony because this auspicious occasion is a symbolic reminder of the significant role the Progressive Liberal Party and the Father of the Nation played in bringing about one of the most consequential and transformational events in our history, eclipsed only by the abolition of slavery in 1834.

With the addition of National Independence on 10th July 1973, these three epic events changed the course of Bahamian history forever and etched in the annals of history the Bahamian national identity and the depth of our indomitable spirit.

We must never grow weary of telling our story lest we lose our identity and heritage as a people.

Further — and more nationally — as a free, modern, democratic and independent state, history must record that Majority Rule Day is also an occasion where all Bahamians come together to reflect on and celebrate the enduring principles of democracy.  Today then, I stand with my Bahamian brothers and sisters from all walks of life in memorializing this day as a seminal moment in the ever-evolving Bahamian story.


We must never allow our detractors to minimize, trivialize or relegate this great day and event to the scrap heap of historical irrelevance. To do so is to dishonour the vision, memory and legacy of those great courageous souls on whose shoulders we stand.

We cannot and must not conveniently disinherit our glorious legacy because our truth is inconvenient to some.

A cause rooted in social justice, freedom fighters courageously stood in the vanguard of change – unyielding in their demand that all were created equal — with God-given rights to human dignity without regard to race, gender, colour or creed. This stand of conscience galvanized a nation, a generation of Bahamians, and in the process significantly reshaped the character and national identity of The Bahamas forever.

I pay tribute to the many unsung heroes and heroines whose endearing and enduring legacies of selflessness and shared sacrifices remain the gold standard of our national culture in both public life and in the way we conduct our personal affairs with one another.

I continue to draw, conviction, inspiration and influence from the passion of the Suffragettes, the labour movement, the church and from countless Bahamians who put it all on the line to secure a more perfect Commonwealth.

Speaking of passion, conviction, inspiration and influence, I wish to take a moment to recount the role the late Sir Sidney Poitier played and the contributions he made during our journey to Majority Rule.

As a Bahamian with dual citizenship, Sir Sidney used his celebrity status in the struggle for civil rights —  fighting racism, bigotry and injustice in both the United States and The Bahamas.

Many Bahamians still recall his speaking to the issue at a reception in his honour to the then United Bahamian Party (UBP) government in recognition of his Academy Award for ‘Lilies of the Field.’

A well-known story in PLP circles is his assistance to the Progressive Liberal Party in the run up to the 1967 general elections. There is an iconic photo of Sir Sidney and Sir Lynden at the back of an open limousine celebrating the 1967 victory.

May he rest in peace.

As a beneficiary of their sacrificial work, I thank them all — Sir Lynden Pindling, Sir Milo Butler, Sir Randal Fawkes, Sir Clifford Darling, Dame Doris Johnson and Sir Sidney Poitier — for their passion, faith, perseverance and uncompromising commitment to social justice, democracy, freedom and a sense of fair play.

It is indeed an honour and a privilege to stand on their broad proverbial shoulders to continue their invaluable work in building a stronger and more perfect Commonwealth to positively impact the lives of generations yet unborn.

Our cause is indeed national, inclusive and intergenerational in its nature, range and scope.

On behalf of my wife Ann Marie, my cabinet and parliamentary colleagues, my government, the officers and members of the Progressive Liberal Party, I extend best wishes and highest regards to the people of The Bahamas as we celebrate Fifty-Five years of Majority Rule.

May Almighty God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

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