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BAHAMAS: PM’s Remarks at Austin Technology Council/Texas Association of Business

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#UnitedStates, January 24, 2018 – Austin, TX – Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Good morning, I am delighted to be here with you this morning The Bahamas, like Canada and Mexico, is among the closest geographic neighbors of the United States.  To offer you some geographical perspective, the Bahamas’ archipelago extends southwest from Southern Florida in the United States to northern Cuba.

Our far-flung archipelago, with approximately 21 major islands and many hundreds of cays and islands, extends from north to south, approximately the same geographic length from the northern to the southern end of Britain.  To put it another way, The Bahamas extends from north to south, the same distance as from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago off the coast of South America.

We are just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, less than half hour’s journey by air from our capital, Nassau.  This proximity is partly responsible for the longstanding good neighbour relationship which exists between our two countries.  There are long and well-established ties between The Bahamas and the United States.  The Bahamas is among the oldest parliamentary democracies in the Western Hemisphere.   We have a stable government, a well-established and respected legal system with The Privy Council in London as the highest court of last resort.

Our English-speaking population of nearly 400,000 people is proud, patriotic and peaceful.  Our economy has historically been based on tourism and while tourism will always be the main driver of our economy, we also appreciate the need for economic diversification.  With this in mind, late last year we passed legislation known as the Commercial Enterprises Act.

The intent of this Act is to offer incentives to investors who establish businesses in The Bahamas that would help us in our diversification drive while also creating higher paying jobs and long-term job security.  Under this legislation, investors in captive insurance, reinsurance, arbitration, wealth management, computer programming, maritime trade, nanotechnology, biomedical industries, data storage, call centers, software design and writing will be given a number of concessions and incentives if they were to locate in The Bahamas.

Ladies and Gentlemen: My government has embarked upon a major mission to establish The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama Island, as a world-renowned technology hub.  Grand Bahama is the second most populous island in The Bahamas, with excellent modern infrastructure.  The capital, Freeport, is in short flying distance from Florida, and enjoys US Immigration and Customs Pre-Clearance.

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This past November, through our first ever Grand Bahama Technology Summit, we started on the path to realize this goal.  We had the opportunity to host some of the finest minds in technology locally and from international tech giants. Grand Bahama is uniquely suited to become an internationally recognized Science, Technology and Innovation hub.  We invite you consider Grand Bahama as you plan your next start up or the expansion of your international enterprise.  Grand Bahama and The Bahamas possess modern and superior infrastructure, modern roads, constant and reliable electricity supply of North-American standards, fully digital telecommunications and high quality high-speed internet.

We also have a wide variety of public and private schools, both elementary and secondary, as well as the University of The Bahamas.  We realize that an integral component of the continued growth of our economy is by developing human capacity through education.  I am pleased that our schools and university are committed to maintaining modern and strong curriculum standards to prepare our people for a growing job market.

Bahamians are also among the most technologically savvy people in the Caribbean.  Our recent Technology Summit highlighted several Bahamians who are at the cutting edge of innovation and technology.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Grand Bahama has proven to be an attractive place for manufacturing cutting-edge technology.  Corporation has identified Grand Bahama as the ideal location to configure and assemble the Ocean Medallion concierge system.  This interactive technology is expected to change the cruise experience and we are proud to house its development center in the Grand Bahama.

The Bahamas is currently finalizing programs for blockchain-based solutions, fin-tech and crypto-currency companies and intend to promote blockchain as a sub-industry within ICT.  We are currently engaged in discussions on how we can fast-track work permits and ensure that companies who employ US and foreign talent can retain these employees in The Bahamas.  We remain open to tailor-making packages specific to a company’s needs, allowing them to retain their talent without increasing cost.

Legislation has been passed in our Commercial Enterprise Act which will streamline business applications and immigration processes in order to facilitate new technology businesses.

Freeport, Grand Bahamahas great promise as a digital center.  Our nation’s second city has superb communications infrastructure so you are always connected. Freeport has two major ISPs with independent terrestrial, subterranean, sub-sea and wireless networks.  The city also boasts diverse network paths, self-healing metro, inter-island and international networks.  Home connectivity in Freeport is measured up to 100 megabit per second, having providing business services via copper and fibre, with speeds exceeding 1 gigabit per second.

Freeport is one of the most unique areas of the entire Bahamas, being that it is managed by the Grand Bahama Port Authority, a private city management organization, in conjunction with the national government.  In the early development of the City of Freeport, The Grand Bahama Port Authority created the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, which established Freeport (The “Port Area”) as a free trade zone.

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Under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, business owners enjoy the benefits of a tax neutral jurisdiction.  There is no capital gains, real property or corporate income tax.  Freeport is especially suited for development, as the pre-planned city has not yet nearly met its capacity.  Undeveloped, unpolluted land and buildings are just waiting to be utilized in the City of Freeport.

Additionally, Freeport houses the island’s highly reliable power company.  My government prioritizes maintaining close relations with our service providers.   I am pleased to say that Grand Power Company has expressed its preparedness to be flexible in rates particularly for new technology companies.  Additionally, The Freeport Container Port boasts the deepest container terminal in the region.  The 24-hour a day facility serves as a major transshipment hub between the US, Latin America, Europe.

Freeport proudly boasts advanced building codes – some of the strongest in the Western Hemisphere – and a communications infrastructure that has withstood major hurricanes. Data Centers established in Freeport have not been impacted in any hurricane season.  The Bahamas enjoys economic and monetary stability.  We have a skilled workforce at competitive rates.  We have world-class infrastructure.  We have a progressive immigration policy designed to attract talented professionals from across the globe.   The Bahamas offers modern educational and health facilities, a wealth of cultural events, and pristine beaches which all adds up to luxury living at its finest.

On behalf of the Government and the entire people of our great nation, I sincerely thank you for your time.   I look forward to future partnerships as we embark on this new beginning for The Bahamas.  It is not just Better in The Bahamas in terms of the visitor experience for tourists.  The Bahamas is also an excellent place for investment, and we continue to get even better.

Thank you and good morning.

 

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Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again

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#TheBahamas, November 27, 2021 – One means by which Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey plans to utilize every resource at her disposal to get things moving for Grand Bahama again, is to utilize partnerships for development.

“Success with these partnerships on our island are embedded in collaborative efforts between the ministry of Grand Bahama, other government ministries, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Whampoa Holdings Ltd., industry stakeholders and the business community at large,” explained Minister Moxey.

“We must unite and work together to build alliances for success with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Grand Bahama Island excels.  We are all in this together.”

The Minister’s remarks came during her keynote address at the ninth annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort. The event is held to honor Grand Bahamian business owners for their commitment, achievements and dedication to the development of the second city.

Minister Moxey pointed out that this year’s event, under the theme, celebration of excellence, acknowledges and highlights businesses on Grand Bahama that have stayed the course. She added that this kind of recognition is a beacon of hope for local business owners who have faced and overcame some of the most challenging circumstances ever encountered within the island’s history.

“On November first during my contribution on the bill to thank the Governor General for his Speech from the Throne, I pledged to the nation that I would do the people’s business and utilize every resource at my disposal, to get the job done for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As a Grand Bahamian and business owner, I can attest to the challenges we have faced over the past decade. The devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which was closely followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It further strained our already fragile economy. Today’s administration is also well aware of the challenges that Grand Bahama has faced over the past decade. Nevertheless, we will deliver on our commitment to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our island, our economy and usher our people into the new day.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses represented today, that have kept their doors opened and our people employed. To all of the Business Excellence Award nominees, I congratulate you. Remain encouraged and know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“To the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, thank you for being a staple in the business community and for celebrating excellence for the past nine years. Welcome back business excellence awards.”

 

By Andrew Coakley

Photo Caption: Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right), along with President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laroda presents Mrs. Leslie Baptista, of Paint Fair, with the President’s Award, during the ninth annual GB Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Invest Turks and Caicos Attended Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit

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#TurksandCaicos, November 24, 2021 – Invest Turks and Caicos (Invest TCI) is pleased to announce the Agency’s participation in the 10TH Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) held November 10th-12th, 2021, at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.

CHICOS is one of the premier hospitality conferences in the region. In its 10th year, this event brought together more than 300 regional and international investors and operators and the region’s leading decision makers – all to discuss the region’s markets and possibilities.

Invest TCI participated in the Caribbean Government Leaders plenary session on Friday, November 12th, alongside the Bahamas Investment Authority, Invest St. Lucia, and JAMPRO. The plenary discussions focused on the investment environment of Caribbean economies in a post covid environment under two key themes: diversification of the economy and tourism and the need for greater involvement of (and positive impact on) local communities.

Attending the summit on behalf of Invest TCI was Interim CEO, Angela Musgrove and Legal and Compliance Officer, Judith Garland.

Commenting on the summit, Ms. Garland stated, “I was delighted to represent the Agency at the 10th Anniversary edition of CHICOS. I found the sessions engaging, and the industry trends and knowledge imparted was most valuable. It was great to meet new faces and establish relationships with industry colleagues, which can present mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships in the future.

Interim CEO Angela Musgrove stated, “Invest TCI will continue to support and leverage industry conferences to promote opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is the Agency’s 5th year attending CHICOS, and it has allowed us to directly engage with potential investors and prospects interested in doing business in the TCI. Through these types of events, the Agency can continue to proactively target new investment opportunities, lucrative partnerships, and financial opportunities that contribute to overall economic development.”

For more information on upcoming events, visit our website at investturksandcaicos.tc.

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Bahamian Para-Athlete Erin Brown to Become Godmother of RC’s Odyssey of The Seas

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – A Bahamian woman who lost her leg to cancer and went on to defy odds and inspire thousands will be named godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas. Erin Brown, a 41-year-old mother of two and a para-triathlete who cycles, runs, swims and competes at an international level, will accept the honour at a special ceremony in Florida later this week.

“From the moment we heard the story of Erin, how her courage and determination in the face of adversity inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a great candidate for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “A godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its crew and guests.”

While she was in college participating as a track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and Brown made the difficult decision to amputate her limb above the knee. Brown, who watched her own mother struggle for five years before losing her battle with lupus linked to cancer, knew she had to keep going because her child depended on her. She underwent surgery and woke up to one less leg. “Mind over matter,” she repeated. And then, she re-invented herself.

She said she recognizes now that her disability was a signal to start over. The first time she completed the 100-mile cycling event, Ride for Hope, raising money for cancer research, education and prevention, she led a group of adaptive athletes who heard the thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd that had witnessed the one-legged cyclist achieve what few with two legs could on the hilly terrain.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for the physically challenged.

“Having Erin as our godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas,” said Bayley. “Our company’s very first port of call outside the U. S. was to The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call and Perfect Day at CocoCay remains our top pick by our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honouring our long-time partners, as well as the newest Bahamian flagged ship in our fleet.”

 

Photo Caption: Erin Brown, who calls herself a limb-difference individual, will be named the first Bahamian Godmother of a Royal Caribbean International vessel when she presides over the naming of Odyssey of the Seas.

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