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PM: Tech summit marks “new beginning” for GB

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis officially opened the Grand Bahama Technology Summit at Grand Lucayan resort November 9, 2017. Pictured: Prime Minister Hubert Minnis makes the keynote speaker at the official opening of the Grand Bahama Technology Summit November 9, 2017 at Grand Lucayan resort. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

Friday, November 10, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis officially opened the Grand Bahama Technology Summit at Grand Lucayan resort November 9, 2017.

It is hoped the first Technology Summit will lay the foundation for establishing Grand Bahama as a tech hub for The Bahamas.

The conclave runs November 9-10 and boasts an impressive list of speakers, including tech innovators and IT developers from Google, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and others.

As the keynote speaker for the summit, Prime Minister Minnis took time to sell The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama, to tech companies present as a favourable place in which to set up business.

He noted that the government of The Bahamas has embarked on a mission to establish Grand Bahama as a world-renowned technology hub. “Today, through this first ever Grand Bahama Technology Summit, we are starting on the path to realize this goal,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

“We are pleased to play host to this distinguished gathering of some of the finest minds in technology. Indeed your meetings over the next two days will be instrumental in the strategic planning process of promoting the information, communication and technology industry.”

The Prime Minister noted that the island of Grand Bahama is uniquely suited to being an internationally recognized science, technology and innovation hub. Noting the island’s proximity to the US, he pointed out that Grand Bahama is conveniently located for international business.

To further prove his point, the Prime Minister highlighted the island’s modern and superior infrastructure, as well as a reliable electricity supply and high-speed Internet.

“The Freeport Container Port boasts the deepest container terminal in the region,” the Prime Minister noted. “Our 24-hour-a-day facility serves as a major transshipment hub between the US, Latin America and Europe.

“The Bahamas is a stable democracy, committed to the rule of law, with one of the best banking systems in the region.”

An important part of establishing Grand Bahama as a technology hub will be the development of human capacity through education and training. As a result, Prime Minister Minnis said he was pleased to note that the Grand Bahama campus of the University of The Bahamas is playing an active role in the summit.

The Prime Minister encouraged the many students who attended the opening to explore careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and information technology.

“Grand Bahama should be a place where Bahamians can confidently pursue careers in these fields and know that there will be an avenue for their skills to be utilized,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

“Grand Bahama is already becoming a manufacturing centre for cutting-edge technology, as exemplified in the recent soft opening of Carnival Corporation’s Ocean Medallion Project. Grand Bahama will now be the place where industry meets technology. In many ways, it is a new beginning.”

“Grand Bahama is certainly open for business and welcomes international business representatives, particularly those from Google, Microsoft and HP to discover what this island has to offer. I also want to encourage Bahamian professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs, at home and abroad, to establish your businesses here at home.”

In closing, the Prime Minister extended a special invitation to all international tech companies present to consider The Bahamas in general, and Grand Bahama in particular, for their ICT conventions, annual meetings and corporate retreats.

The Bahamas Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar, who is also chairman of the Council of Ministers Caribbean Tourism Organization, gave remarks at the World Travel Market Caribbean news conference 6 November, 2017 in London. Read his remarks here.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe officially welcomed the crew and passengers of the FRS Caribbean vessel, San Gwann to Freeport, Grand Bahama November 9.

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