Friday, June 30, 2017
Friday, June 30, 2017
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said that capital is one of the important elements that the government is addressing to cultivate a “high growth economy” in The Bahamas.
Speaking at the Billionaire Roundtable’s Jumpstart Our Business Start-Ups event at the Hyatt Baha Mar Convention Centre June 29, 2017, DPM Turnquest said the government must ensure that it continues to build capital locally, while also attracting capital to The Bahamas.
“As this is a billionaire’s conference, we can be frank about money. Money is important. Capital is important,” he said.
“Despite being an archipelago, The Bahamas is not an ‘economic island’. We are integrated into the global system as a small, open economy. We respond to the world around us – to global economic downturns and as the global economy rebounds.”
He said historically, the country has managed extremely well and has been able to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), which has helped to strengthen the economy.
The DPM added that the FDI presents itself to countries viewed as “safe bets” and flows to where there are strong institutions and good governance.
“Therefore, chief on our agenda as a government is to ensure that we strengthen investor confidence by strengthening our fundamentals as a country through fiscal discipline and greater effectiveness.
“We must be transparent, accountable and free of corruption. We must close the gaps for waste and leakages, improve public spending and ensure that public services are provided in a way that makes it easier to do business. There must be greater certainty, clarity and speed of action.”
DPM Turnquest said the country’s domestic savings and investments must also play a significant role in The Bahamas’ economic growth.
“Encouraging a strong culture of savings and investment, therefore, is important to facilitate an increase in locally financed investments to grow the economy. It is therefore, crucial that we take active steps to improve both our household and domestic savings performance for sustainable economic growth.”
The government is also exploring the creation of a Bahamas Small Business Development Centre that would be designed to aid in capacity building for entrepreneurs, particularly, small and medium-sized businesses that may need more technical assistance on matters such as getting a business license, writing a business plan, managing and developing employees or those wanting to export.
“The Ministry of Finance, the US Small Business Development Centres, and the University of The Bahamas are currently collaborating to create the Bahamas Small Business Development Centre, which will be hosted at the University of The Bahamas. All of the services will be free to the public, as a public service.”
Funding for the centre has been allocated in the National Budget and premises have already been secured.
“Our aim is to ensure that we maximize the efficiency of every dollar of capital invested in entrepreneurial activities by Bahamian businesses. We want our investments to succeed to minimise unnecessary failure,” DPM Turnquest said.