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Ministry hopes to draw manufacturers to Freeport

Acting Director of Trade & Industry in the Ministry of Financial Services Viana Gardiner (pictured) has said that she believes that new intellectual property legislation will encourage international companies to base their operations in Grand Bahama. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New intellectual property (IP) legislation could give Freeport a welcome economic boost, and signal a rejuvenation of Grand Bahama’s manufacturing sector, according to the Ministry of Financial Services.

Acting Director of Trade & Industry in the Ministry of Financial Services Viana Gardiner said the Ministry has drawn up “a full onslaught of legislation” to bring The Bahamas up to date on regulation concerning patents, copyrights and trademarks and believes this level of protection will encourage international companies to base their operations in the country.


Gardiner highlighted Freeport as a possible site for investment, pointing out that it already has a large container port and shipping terminal, as well as being strategically positioned for many major markets. “We have many assets we are not utilizing.”

Speaking at yesterday’s IP seminar organized by the Ministry of Financial Services, Gardiner said that the new legislation was part of an ongoing effort to reform the trade sector and would help trade become a major driver of the economy, alongside the well established tourism and financial services sectors.

“We need to have a domestic shift in terms of our focus. We need to augment what we are doing in [the tourism and financial] sectors by focusing on our trade and goods. We need to seek to develop high value industries,” she said.

“Trade sector reform is going to cause us to be more competitive in the international community [and] cause our economy to grow.”

In August this year, the government received a $16.5-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop its trade sector. The funding will be used to reform the current customs regime and create an IP registrar, a competition bureau and a standards bureau.

cmorris@dupuch.com

The Ministry of Financial Services is set to introduce new intellectual property (IP) legislation that will spur growth and help the jurisdiction's efforts to gain accession to the World Trade Organization.

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