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Panama Canal expansion “significant milestone” for Freeport

During his keynote address at the Bahamas International Investment and Business Forum this morning, Prime Minister Perry Christie said that the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015 could bring benefits to Grand Bahama's shipping industry. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015 is a “significant milestone” for Freeport, as the city prepares to welcome more business for the shipping industry and capitalize on its close proximity to many major markets, according to Prime Minister Perry Christie.

Christie made the remarks during a keynote address at the Bahamas International Investment and Business Forum (BIIBF) in Grand Bahama today.

Under the Panama Canal expansion project, the capacity of the major waterway will be doubled by 2015.

The maritime industry in Freeport expects a significant boost once the expanded canal is launched.

“There are many benefits for The Bahamas from this,” said the Prime Minister. “It is good news for the shipping industry. That expansion puts Freeport in a unique and advantageous position. It is the ideal port within reach of international destinations.”

With access to both US and Latin American markets, Freeport is well positioned to take advantage of the canal’s growth, he said.

“Freeport is so wonderfully positioned at the crossroads to the region.”

“We must have a global outlook, not limiting ourselves in any way. [Grand Bahama] has access to both the traditional and emerging markets of the world. We are the gateway.”

“Freeport is truly an international city, attracting major industry in shipping, pharmaceuticals, dry docking and tourism.”

The Prime Minister stressed that he was “optimistic” about the future of Freeport, saying: “This is a wonderful island with wonderful infrastructure and with people who are willing to make it happen.Those are the ingredients for success.”

The BIIBF is jointly hosted by the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA), the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC).

The three-day event is taking place at the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport and runs through February 22.


Speaking at the Bahamas International Investment and Business Forum being held in Freeport this week, Prime Minister Perry Christie (pictured) said that the tourism sector must develop ties with industry to realize untapped potential. (Photo Harry Cutting/©Dupuch Publications)

Commonwealth Business Council chairman Dr Mohan Kaul has urged Grand Bahama to look to other Commonwealth countries for potential investors. Kaul made the remarks yesterday at the Bahamas International Investment & Business Forum in Freeport.

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