Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
The government, through the Bahamas Embassy in China, is seeking to explore and create new economic opportunities for Bahamians through all aspects of Bahamian arts and crafts.
On July 15, 2016, Bahamas Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Paul Andy Gomez met with leaders in the cultural arena to discuss the vast potential of Bahamian arts and culture in Asia. A number of them recently participated in a cultural tour in China.
During the meeting at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, Ambassador Gomez said the objective was “to enhance The Bahamas’ cultural export and create new economies for Bahamians.”
The year 2017 will make 20 years since The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and The People’s Republic of China established diplomatic ties and bilateral relations in a number of areas like scholarships, agriculture, business and arts and culture.
“The Bahamas Embassy’s primary role in China is to maintain diplomatic relations of the highest level with The People’s Republic of China,” Ambassador Gomez said.
Secondly, he said, the embassy is pursuing “in a big way” the promotion of business partnership opportunities between Chinese and Bahamian businesses.
“The Bahamas has some opportunities and we need to strategically balance our sovereignty for generations to come with economic development, particularly from that heavily populated part of the world,” Ambassador Gomez said.
The meeting covered marketing and promotion of Bahamian products; culture such as Junkanoo; copyright of photographs, drawings and paintings; the support of short films and documentaries; and the sale of items such as straw bags, jewellry and other crafts.
“We have a gem of a country; The Bahamas is highly respected and we have to protect it for future generations,” the ambassador said. “But we also have to find a way for culture to make some money. We have to work together.”
Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corp Dion Smith, who was also present at the meeting, said a mandate of BAIC is to stimulate the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. “There is a market worldwide for Bahamian handicraft,” he said.
Deputy director general of tourism Ellison Thompson also noted that China is an emerging, important market and pledged the Ministry’s support in this vein.
Director of culture Rowena Poitier-Sutherland said she is willing to share the various business plans on tap for further promotion of culture in, and outside of The Bahamas.
Bahamas chamber of commerce president Edison Sumner and chairman of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Commission Paul Major, who both pledged the support of the business community, also addressed the meeting.