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Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way business is done in The Bahamas

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#Bahamas, February 2, 2018 – Nassau – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest said that Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise the way business is done in The Bahamas.

During the “Understanding Blockchain Technology Applications: What You Need to Know” workshop hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at Baha Mar Convention Centre, Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the DPM added that Blockchain technology has the ability to propel the country in a really dramatic way from where it is today to being a true leader in terms of technology and the way business is done as well as the ease of doing business.

The workshop was facilitated by Chris Jagers and Natalie Smolenski from the Learning Machine Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  DPM Turnquest explained that with the Assistance of the IDB, he and several colleague Ministers toured the MIT Lab last year and saw the potential that the technology has for The Bahamas.

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“When a lot of people think of Blockchains, they think about cryptocurrency.  That is just one aspect of it.  That is something we are doing some research into to see how we will be able to capitalise on it.

“More importantly than that is the way we can use this technology to improve the quality and efficiency of our daily lives.”

He gave the illustration of the Government potentially using the technology to create electronic records that are “indisputable”, which would then lead to a system where records could be produced that individuals could carry around in the form of an electronic passport that they can take to any bank where they want to open an account.

“If we had this electronic ID card if you will, you could walk into the bank, present your ID with your access code, they could look at your records, verify who you are via your information and away you go in minutes.  That is what we are talking about it.”

As it stands now, he said it takes weeks or months for Bahamians and six to eight months for foreign nationals to open a bank account, which is “a very inefficient and frustrating process.”

The DPM also noted that the Government is looking at how Blockchain technology can be useful in producing a proper land registry, employing it with companies registering with the government.

Blockchain workshop“There are a whole host of opportunities that exist as a result of this technology and we want to explore it all and take our country to the cutting edge.”

IDB Country Representative, The Bahamas Florencia Attademo-Hirt explained that emerging technologies like Blockchain have been making waves all over the world in recent years.

She said, “Very simply put, Blockchain is a digital technology able to store and transport valuable information and assets securely.

“Blockchains were first used to record transactions of digital money (cyrptocurrencies), but since those early days, there have been other uses and applications of this technology.”

Mrs. Attademo-Hirt noted that Blockchain technology has the ability to manage a large amount of data accurately allowing for it to not be tampered or altered, and could be either very transparent or confidential.

“In The Bahamas, we think we can apply blockchain to a number of areas beyond cyrptocurrencies or even the Financial Sector.”

She said one of the goals of the workshop was to convince stakeholders as well as get their feedback on the usefulness of Blockchain Technology in The Bahamas in the area of sovereign citizen security and justice, in particular the information that is being handled by the justice system.  Another goal was to see if the technology could be used for education and training in the sense of keeping records and diplomas available and making them easily accessible to their owner of the records, employers and learning institutions.

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Mrs. Attademo-Hirt said they really also want to establish how useful it would be for land title registration.

“We would really like you to give us your ideas even if you feel like Blockchain might not work for The Bahamas, if you feel that it is not the solution, if you are afraid of using the technology, if you fear people need to be trained in a way that they will not be able to.

“We will like to hear all of your thoughts and your feedback to make sure that whatever investment that we do moving forward using this or other technologies, it is relevant to your country, helps improves lives in your country and helps Bahamians have a better prospect for their future,” Mrs. Attademo-Hirt said.

 

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter K. Turnquest opens “Understanding Blockchain Technology Applications: What You Need to Know” workshop hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at Baha Mar Convention Centre, Wednesday, January 31, 2018.  (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

 

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest; Minister of Transport and Local Government the Hon. Frankie Campbell and Inter-American Development Bank Country Representative, The Bahamas, Florencia Attademo-Hirt attend the Blockchain workshop.  (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

 

 

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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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Sandals Foundation donates to skills training programs in Nassau

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – The clothing, textile and art and craft programs at CC Sweeting High School and Aquinas College recently received a major boost from Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island, through their charity arm, the Sandals Foundation.

The resort, which is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar overhaul generously, donated bolts of fabric to both schools. This came after Regional Projects Coordinator, Kerry Ann Fung and her team alerted the Foundation about the fabrics as they felt that the schools would benefit greatly from them.

Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead did the handover and shared that while the resort’s doors may be closed, their hands and hearts remain open to the people of Bahamas.

“We are resolute about giving back to this country in any way that we can. I’m delighted that Aquinas and CC Sweeting will make good use of the fabric and that it will help students to develop the skills they need to create sustainable and expansive change in society. As we continue with the work on the resort, we plan on donating so much more in the coming weeks,” he shared.

He added that properly resourced learning environments form a huge part of Sandals’ commitment to education, as transformative initiatives have been the Sandals Foundation’s goal since its inception in 2009.

Principal at Aquinas College, Mrs. Shona Knowles who received the fabric on behalf of the school shared that the fabric will be used to aid in the inculcation of entrepreneurial skills in students.

“We have a very vibrant art and craft department. The fabric we received from the resort will be used by students for art projects where they make things like handbags, cushions, stool and bench covers and other artistic pieces. We also have plans to use some of the fabric to design backdrops for multimedia purposes,” she said.

“We are grateful to Sandals Royal Bahamian? and are certainly looking forward to a long-term partnership between the Resort and our school,” declared Knowles.

In addition to other donations that the resort plans on making, come December, the Sandals Foundation will be spreading joy with a toy through its annual Christmas Toy Drive. This initiative will see them donating close to 2000 toys to children from various schools and communities in New Providence and Exuma.

The Toy Drive has been a staple calendar event for more than 10 years through generous donations from United States toy company, Hasbro and the kind support of Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members, guests, travel agents and partners.

Release: Sandals Foundation

Photo Caption:  Principal at Aquinas College, Shona Knowles accepts fabric donation on behalf of her school from Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead.

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