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Government developing new maritime policy

Speaking at a maritime workshop being held in Grand Bahama this week, Minister for Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin said the government is working towards realizing the potential of the maritime sector. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013

ALT TAG HEREMinister for Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin on February 5 described the maritime sector as one filled with opportunities.

“It is a source of great excitement that this partially untapped area holds so much possibility for the individual and collective advancement, growth and success of the Bahamian people,” she said.

Hanna Martin was in Grand Bahama delivering the keynote address at the opening of the National Maritime Workshop, which runs February 5-8 at the Grand Lucayan Resort. The workshop’s theme is: Improving the Standards of Implementation and Enforcement of the International Maritime Organization’s Mandatory Instruments.

Representatives of the public and private sector are participating in the three-day workshop being sponsored by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA).

The Transport Minister began her remarks by thanking the IMO for its continued collaboration with The Bahamas in its efforts to develop and modernize its maritime sector.

She said that the government is now in the process of developing a maritime policy, which will help “maximize the natural resources which exist in abundance in our country: a policy of sustainable exploitation for energy, science and technology and industry generally, fisheries and trade among other things.”

“This will create new paradigms in our national development, new niches in our economic model and new and exciting career opportunities for our young bright minds,” she said.

“It is projected that this policy in a first draft will be completed early 2014. It is expected that the policy will create a framework for significant initiatives that will create economic opportunities.”

The Minister pointed out the role of the BMA in the training and development of young people through the Maritime Cadet Programme, which has trained and certified hundreds of high school students in private and public schools.

She also drew attention to the scholarship programme, which in conjunction with the Bahamas Shipowners Association, has facilitated advance degree programmes in schools in the US, Canada and the UK.

“We now anticipate the LIM Maritime Academy, which has collaborated with the College of The Bahamas, will further deepen and expand our national thrust for creating a cadre of highly trained young people in the various sectors of the maritime field,” she said.

She also advised that her Ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, is now reviewing the management and administrative and commercial structure of the Prince George Dock, the country’s premier cruise ship docking facility, which caters for around four million visitors annually.

“At the end of this review we expect to see a modern, efficient and self-sustaining port facility that will be the envy of the world,” she stated.

Additionally, she said that her Ministry is reviewing port facilities nationwide with a view to creating a more structured port administration, which will enhance the local economies and advance the maritime industry nationally.

Workshop participants were also told that the Ministry is now undertaking a study of the feasibility of creating a yacht registry for the registration of yachts worldwide, which has the potential of creating new economic streams for The Bahamas.

Likewise, the Minister said that she is in collaboration with the Minister of Financial Services in the creation of a strategic plan for immediate implementation for the positioning of The Bahamas as a maritime centre for cluster economic activities for shipping companies worldwide.

“In this way we expect to attract such companies to headquarter in The Bahamas thereby creating important and substantive linkages throughout our economy in terms of legal, accounting and array of other services. This would have the effect of further cementing the country as a global maritime centre.”

Ed Bethel, High Commissioner and Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the International Maritime Organization, presented his credentials January 31. Pictured: Koji Sekimizu (left), secretary general of the IMO and Ed Bethel, High Commissioner and Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the IMO, during the presentation of credentials. (Photo/Lee Adamson)

Addressing the Global Financial Summit at Atlantis Paradise Island last week, Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder said that The Bahamas is a "stable, well regulated, sovereign democracy" welcoming to investors. (Photo/stock)

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