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Minister of Financial Services back IDB trade loan

Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder says he fully supports the $16.5-million Inter-American Development Bank loan, which will be used to improve the international trading environment and facilitate ascension to the WTO. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder (pictured) says he fully supports the resolution to approve a $16.5 million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan for the trade sector.

Pinder said that this loan would not only support the modernization exercise of the Customs Department, but could also be applied to facilitate the necessary components as the country moves towards World Trade Organization (WTO) accession.

“The loan is going to provide a great momentum to our trade agenda and will benefit all Bahamians,” said Pinder.

The loan seeks to facilitate the implementation of the Customs Management Act by providing for training, but it will also facilitate an entirely new platform for the way that customs processes and captures data and will support the electronic submission of documents, Pinder said.

“These initiatives will ease the way in which business is done in the country and may by extension, assist with the country’s ‘ease of doing business rankings.'”

He said that the trade component of the loan has identified three main areas of priority, including:

  • Training of public officers to strengthen institutional capacity ($105k)–this includes the manuals for immigration and Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) officers;
  • The establishment of a Bureau of Standards ($300k)–currently Bahamians purchase and consume largely unregulated products; and
  • Intellectual Property (IP) ($390k)–these funds seek to modernize the way in which IP applications are processed and filed by the government.

There is also a component of the loan to support the WTO accession process.

Pinder also pointed out the importance of the context of market access and the benefits that would be derived from it.

“The immediate benefit for the business sector from WTO accession is the legal guarantee of continuing access to US and other world markets on more favourable and guaranteed terms,” said Pinder.

While not widely recognized, The Bahamas currently has no guaranteed rights of market access to any foreign markets except those of the European Union and other CARIFORUM states.clear

Major resort projects in the Family Islands are set to bolster the local economy, according to Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle. The Minister (pictured) made the comments following a tour of the Baker’s Bay development site on Great Guana Cay, and the Treasure Sands Club project on Abaco.

Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder and Minister for Grand Bahama Michael Darville visited PharmaChem Technologies and Polymers International Ltd in Freeport last week to tour the facilities.

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