Friday, May 4, 2018
Friday, May 4, 2018
Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister Kwasi Thompson welcomed representatives of GIBC Digital to Grand Bahama May 3.
GIBC provides digital solutions in automation, data intelligence, cyber and fraud, customer experience as well as regulation and compliance. The US company is looking to invest a minimum of $2.5 million this year to establish an office in Grand Bahama.
“This government has been focused on making technology the third pillar of our economy and it has been our vision to advance not just the economy, but the digital economy in Grand Bahama. Today, we are seeing some of the fruits of the Grand Bahama Technology Hub Initiative. This is a project which advances the entire Technology vision for Grand Bahama. It involves capital investment, providing employment, and providing the necessary training in the technology industry.”
“The announcement by GIBC represents a significant investment in Grand Bahama’s economy. I am excited that this investment will enable the hiring of 50 persons to work along with the company both locally and regionally.”
The hiring process has already begun.
“We are further pleased that this investment also involves training of Grand Bahamians for the technology industry. In addition to the initial investment, GIBC has indicated they will invest another $1 million through deployment of employees from the United States, the UK, and other areas to The Bahamas to conduct training and direct work.
“GIBC anticipates that for each skilled job created, another 2.5 jobs will result in our local service, and tourism sectors, resulting in an estimated economic impact of over $10 million in the first year alone. Further, GIBC’s has expressed plans to expand its Bahamian operations to over 150 employees and build a state-of-the-art, sustainable Data and AI centrewithin three years, bringing an economic impact of $50m by 2020.”
GIBC is one the first companies to benefit from the Commercial Enterprise Act in Grand Bahama. They have been granted approval and this enabled them to set-up their office quickly.
Minister Thompson added, “Grand Bahama should be pleased and proud that a global technology company has chosen not only to set up an office, but to invest in the lives of our people, and to be a part of this important technology initiative.”
He then announced the blockchain and crypto-currency conference scheduled to be held in Freeport in June of this year. The conference, he said, “will introduce The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama as a jurisdiction which is favourable for investors and to present Grand Bahama as an ideal location for technology companies, in particular, those focused on block-chain, crypto-currency and fin-tech solutions.”
Greg Wood, chief executive officer of GIBC Digital, said he is pleased that his company will help realize the vision of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and his government, in making Grand Bahama a tech hub.
His company, he said, is “a digital-transformation facilitator”.
“That means we help organizations automate their manual processes to reduce cost and errors, use their data to make better decisions faster, and prevent cyber security threats. In short, we make our clients more successful by transforming how they do what they do in a digital world.”
Reagrding phase one of the opening of the Grand Bahama office he said: “Our office in Freeport will open with the hiring of 50 Bahamians from the local community, who we will train and deploy to do local and regional work in automation, cyber security, and data intelligence.”
“This skilled workforce will provide the foundation for phase two of our project: creating a digital-transformation training centre, where companies will send their employees to learn the latest in cyber, data intelligence, management, and automation. We intend to commit significant company resources to realize this vision.
“Phase three of our journey will culminate in the creation of a state-of-the-art Data and Artificial Intelligence Centre here in Grand Bahama run entirely by Bahamians, who will be responsible for everything from management, to operations, to delivery of our services, and we plan to work with schools such as MIT and Cornell to bring together the expertise needed to create cutting edge capabilities right here in Freeport.”
Wood concluded by saying: “This is going to have a significantly positive economic impact for Bahamians. We estimate that value to be in excess of $50 million by 2020. It will also firmly establish Grand Bahama as the tech hub in the Caribbean region. This means not only economic stability and opportunities for Bahamians, but meaningful careers – and I stress careers because we don’t look at the roles we are creating as just jobs.”
“In addition to the direct economic benefits, this skilled, local workforce will inevitably attract other technology innovators into Grand Bahama because these innovators will have a ready supply of employees, and the new jobs here will attract more people with the right skills, creating a virtuous circle of prosperity here in Grand Bahama.”
President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Ian Rolle, described the day as “significant” and said it was the beginning of something new in the technology sector.
“Both the government and the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s vision for this place is to increase the population in a very unique way.”
Those in the tech industry, he said, will provide the “right type” of people to the island.
Pictured: Teams from the Office of the Prime Minister, Grand Bahama, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and GIBC Digital gather at the OPM, May 3, for the announcement of GIBC Digital’s presence on the island. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)