Thursday, February 23, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
The Ministry of Financial Services has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC). The MOU is for cooperation in the establishment of a trade information services desk and electronic portal. The event was held February 20, 2017 at the Ministry of Financial Services.
Minister of Financial Services Hope Strachan said that the concept of a trade portal is to create a “one-stop-shop” to access important relevant and current national, regional and international trade information.
“The establishment of a trade portal is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to diversify the Bahamian economy by expanding trade with regional, hemispheric and international trading partners and at the same time improve the ease of doing business with The Bahamas,” said Minister Strachan.
“A trade portal can serve as an important business facilitation tool by reducing the cost and time required to access trade information, and in turn improve the ease of doing business in The Bahamas and we expect that this portal will do just that,” said Minister Strachan.
She said that both parties recognize the importance of stimulating private sector development by supporting local exporters and importers with market intelligence and information to facilitate opportunities for trade and access to international markets made possible with the signing of international trade agreements.
“The parties also believe that the establishment of a trade portal is critical and will give businesses the technical support needed to access international markets made available through those negotiated international trade agreements,” she said.
In October 2016, after an international bidding process, the International Trade Centre (a specialized joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations) was retained to provide the services to design and develop a trade portal for The Bahamas. Minister Strachan said that the portal is “well on its way to becoming a reality” and should be launched in a few months.
She said that a critical feature of the trade portal is the exporter directory of Bahamian exporters and potential exporters, which is being compiled and is critical to businesses seeking to attract potential international buyers. Currently, she said that the use of the portal and registering on the directory is free to all businesses in the country.
Chief executive officer of the BCCEC Edison Sumner said that that the chamber is pleased to partner with the Ministry.
“The development of the portal is a significant achievement towards diversifying the economy and expanding trade with regional, hemispheric and international trading partners,” said Sumner.