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Newsletter Vol.13, No 1.

TBI monthly news in review - February 23, 2019

Financial services were at the top of the government’s agenda at the beginning of the year with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Peter Turnnquest saying that the government is developing a new framework aimed at strengthening industry regulations and protecting revenues to the Public Treasury.

“By demonstrating our commitment to global standards, we are working to maintain The Bahamas’ competitive edge as a global leader in the financial services industry and ensure that the country’s second economic pillar remains vibrant over the medium and long term,” he said.

Under the framework, all financial institutions will now be permitted to offer services to both domestic and international clients, provided that the financial institution meets the prescribed regulatory requirements in respect of the services offered.

The new framework proposes that financial institutions, including banks, insurance, trust companies, investment advisers, mutual fund administrators, broker/dealers and other regulated financial services entities, will be exempted from paying a Business License fee when renewing or applying for a license, starting January 2020.

Later in the month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis travelled to Brussels, Belgium, to hold bilateral talks with high-ranking officials of the European Commission.

Discussions focused on matters relating to the financial services sector of The Bahamas fulfilling its commitments to the EU in terms of compliance and best practice.

“The government is working diligently and in cooperation with industry stakeholders to do everything possible, in keeping with our national interests, to protect the financial services sector, while adhering to global standards,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

In his address to the nation towards the end of the month, the Prime Minister concentrated more on foreign investment projects and the government’s efforts to support smaller Bahamian businesses.

“The government has committed to invest $25 million toward small business support over five years,” he said. “Once these small businesses are provided with capital, they can contribute to the fabric of the economy by providing new businesses by Bahamian entrepreneurs and jobs for Bahamians.”

In other news, another global tech company joined the sector on Grand Bahama, with US software and web development company DevDigital announcing that it has launched operations in The Bahamas, and will be headquartered in Freeport.


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The Bahamas Investor - January News & Press

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The government’s Tourism Development Corp is looking to advance the tourism product in The Bahamas through promoting and encouraging Bahamian entrepreneurs and artisans. Watch a report on the initiative here.

In the first of a series of national reports, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis addressed the nation January 28. His speech was broadcast on local television channels. Watch a summary of the address here.

Economic growth must be inclusive and must be felt all across the country, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday in his first Report to the Nation for 2019.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is to deliver his first National Report for 2019 tonight at 8pm. The address will be broadcast on local TV networks.

Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry Brent Symonette gave an update this morning on the government's plans to transform The Bahamas into an arbitration hub.

Sandals Emerald Bay wrapped up the third PGA Web.com Tour event and the first of the year from January 10-16 across its 500 acres on the unspoiled island of Great Exuma. Marty Dou was named winner after conquering the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course designed by Greg Norman.

Government is looking to establish a public private partnership to redevelop and operate Nassau’s premier cruise port. Watch an interview with Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar here.

Consolidated Water Bahamas Ltd, a subsidiary of Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: CWCO), and a developer and operator of seawater desalination plants, has announced changes to its Board of Directors.

DevDigital, a software and web development company based in Nashville, TN, has announced that it has launched operations in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and will be headquartered in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. Offices in Nassau and Freeport will service US-based and regional clients.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and his delegation met with Stephen Quest, Director General of the Directorate Generale for Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission, and senior members of his team January 15, 2019, in Brussels.

PO8, the award-winning Bahamian tech company, was recently selected as the winner of the Creative Business Cup Award from a pool of over 250 tech companies competing in Santiago, Chile. Read about their achievement here.

Officials at the Nassau Airport Development Co are seeking proponents to design, finance, construct and operate an on-site hotel at Lynden Pindling International Airport.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest reflected on the changes made by the Finance Ministry in 2018, as well as those on the horizon, during a Leadership Symposium hosted by the Public Treasury Department for Accounting Heads and Finance & Accounting Officers last week.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis will travel to Brussels, Belgium, today to hold bilateral talks with high-ranking officials of the European Commission. The Prime Minister will be promoting recent initiatives by the government in the financial services sector.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation’s Airlift Team took the opportunity to meet with American Airlines executives recently in Nassau.

The Bahamas is today celebrating a national holiday to commemorate The Bahamas gaining majority rule for the first time on January 10, 1967. The Bahamas Investor would like to wish everyone a pleasant and peaceful day off. Posts will resume January 11.

The 7th Annual Arbitration and Investment Summit will be held January 25, 2019 at The Baha Mar Convention Centre.

The shipping company Baleària Caribbean will be adding the fast ferry Jaume II to the route between Fort Lauderdale and Freeport, Grand Bahama to replace the Jaume I as of mid-January.

The Ministry of Finance has issued two press releases concerning the introduction of provisional business licenses in the New Year and the opening of the Department of Inland Revenue Client Services Centre on Saturdays for the month of January. Read the announcements here.

Preliminary economic indicators suggest that the modest growth in the Bahamian economy persisted during the latter part of last year, supported by gains in tourism sector output, while foreign investment projects continued to provide the impetus for construction sector activity, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas.

In an effort to enhance the financial services sector, the government of The Bahamas announced today that it is developing a new framework aimed at strengthening industry regulations and protecting revenues to the Public Treasury. Read a full statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest here.

The Bahamas' world famous junkanoo parades took place over the festive period. See pictures from the Boxing Day celebrations here.

The Bahamas’ success as a leader in regional tourism and the new eco-resort at Port St George dominate the news at the start of the year in The Bahamas. Watch a ZNS Network business news report here.

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