Bahamas News

Bahamas poised for digital innovation, says PM

#Nassau, November 2, 2018 – Bahamas – The Bahamas is poised for a new time of innovation and transformation, according to Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister, as the nation adapts to today’s digital world.

He was addressing the Royal Bank of Canada Re-imagining Banking Reception held at the Grand Hyatt, Baha Mar Convention Centre on Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

Royal Bank of Canada is the oldest bank to be established in The Bahamas; with its first branch opening in 1908.  And throughout its 110 years of existence, it has served as the principal banker of The Government of The Bahamas, for many years

“Royal Bank has been a significant contributor to the development and growth of the modern Bahamas,” the Prime Minister said.  He noted that this includes the development and financing of major projects namely: Arawak Cay Port Development, Princess Margaret Hospital Critical Care Block, the Harry C. Moore Library, Nassau Airport Development Company and the Franklyn Wilson Graduate School of Business at the University of The Bahamas.

Earlier this year, RBC announced that its flagship youth skills and empowerment programme – Future Launch – would be coming to The Bahamas.

“RBCs are launching this program around the world, and are pleased that the program will be here in The Bahamas,” the Prime Minister said.

The community engagement initiatives by RBC dovetail with the vision and various initiatives of the Government of The Bahamas, said the Prime Minister.  Toward this end, the government recently launched the Small Business Development Center, for which an amount of over $25 million has been allocated to support micro- small- and medium-sized businesses.

“One of our guiding principles is that sustainable economic growth should be driven by Bahamian investment and creativity, in tandem with strategic foreign direct investment,” the Prime Minister said. “We believe that entrepreneurs are the primary drivers behind innovation and growth,” he added.

The Prime Minister said some of the goals set by his administration are to: stimulate Bahamian ownership, create jobs, and to reduce poverty.

“In order to achieve those goals, we realized that we had to address the blockages that prevent Bahamian ownership, that stifle job creation, and that perpetuate poverty,” he said.  Therefore for his government, access and opportunity are important.

“Access to the kinds of opportunities that those who have traditionally succeeded in our economy often take for granted, including: good advice, help with planning and execution, contacts and networking, and of course, critically, access to capital,” he said.

He told RBC that private enterprises and banks like it should also play a vital role in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs to gain access to capital for business development.  The Prime Minister then pointed out that the Bahamian economy is growing with tourism doing “exceedingly well.” Also a number of major investments are on the horizon.

“Given its history in The Bahamas, I know that the Royal Bank of Canada will continue to be a significant player in the economic life of The Bahamas.

“I look forward to an enhanced partnership between the Government and RBC in the development of more Bahamian entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“I also look forward to enhanced opportunities for corporate citizenship by RBC, especially in the area of youth development, including for at-risk youth,” the Prime Minister said.

 

By Lindsay Thompson

Photo Caption: Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis addresses the RBC Re-imagining Banking reception at the Grand Hyatt, Baha Mar, October 31, 2018; also mingles with RBC executives, along with Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration, the Hon. Brent Symonette.

 

(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

 

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