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April news in review

News highlights during April included positive growth in the GDP figures for 2012, the public offering of $50 million in government stocks and further trade missions and promotional forays into the Latin Market. Read these stories and more in the April news in review bulletin/newsletter. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Go to postApril got underway with the news that according to The National Accounts Section of the Department of Statistics the gross domestic product (GDP) for The Bahamas grew during 2012.

According to the preliminary results, the GDP in current prices for 2012 had a positive growth of 3.5 per cent, while GDP in constant prices grew at 1.83 per cent.

The growth at constant prices was due to increases in the construction industry, manufacturing, the hotel industry and marine transport, according to the report.

The 2012 results are based on early estimates from major data sources such as The Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Foreign Trade Section of the Department of Statistics. These preliminary figures will be revised as more data become available.

The government also announced that it is inviting applications for Bahamas registered stock totalling $50 million. The stock will be available in a range of maturity dates; the earliest being repayable in 2031 and the latest in 2033.Go to post

Compliance was once again on the agenda for The Bahamas’ financial services sector last month, with two key forums taking place in April.

The Ministry of Financial Services held a two-day conference in Nassau on the implementation of the US Foreign Accounting Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), while the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO) held its 8th Annual Northern Bahamas Conference in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Speaking at the BACO forum, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Allyson Maynard Gibson said: “As a nation we must continually maximize our reputational capital in the financial services world as a top tier jurisdiction by, amongst other things, the wholesale embrace of ever improving professional standards which, do not put us at a competitive disadvantage but rather, on the contrary, serve to enhance our luster.”

An example of this is the IOSCO A signatory status attained by The Bahamas earlier in the year. Compliance with the international standard is proving particularly attractive to the Latin American markets. To further develop ties in the region, Brazil became a target for promotional trips and trade missions last month.

The Minister for Grand Bahama Michael Darville led a delegation of Grand Bahama based business executives on a trade mission to Sao Paulo.

Comprising the delegation were the executives of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) group of companies lead by chairman Ian Fair and GBPA vice president Henry St George; executives of Hutchinson Port Holdings; the Grand Bahama Shipyard; and V-Trade.

The Bahamas was also well represented at the Brasil Investment Summit 2013, which ran April 17-18. With the Bahamas Financial Services Board as the event’s Gold sponsor and chief executive officer and executive director Aliya Allen as chairperson for the first day of the conference, The Bahamas had access to 400 domestic and international funds, investors, traders and corporations.

Go to post“Our consistent presence at this event and in Brazil generally and the independent efforts by member firms, combined with our recent IOSCO A signatory status, have created real momentum for The Bahamas in this market,” says Allen.

In domestic news, owner of the Bahamian Brewing and Beverage Co, Jimmy Sands, announced at the opening of the company’s corporate offices April 18 that the company will start exports to Florida within two months.

At the event, State Minister for Finance Michael Halkitis congratulated the Sands family on its continued success.

“This investment that you see here being unveiled today is a manifestation of not only the pioneering spirit, courage, belief, vision of Jimmy Sands, but also a belief in the Bahamian economy, belief in Bahamians, and belief in what we can do.”

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As the Ministry of Tourism looks for ways to diversify the visitor experience, a new focus is being placed on fly-fishing, which reportedly contributes $140 million a year to the Bahamian economy.

Nassau native Georgette Rolle has been awarded a sponsor exemption into the inaugural $1.3-million Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic scheduled for May 23-26 at the Ocean Club at Atlantis Resort. A professional golfer since 2008, the former Texas Southern University player has competed on the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s developmental circuit, but now she is stepping up to the major leagues, and she’s eager to see how her game stacks up.

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