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PM: economy ‘turning the corner’

Speaking at the Securities Commission of The Bahamas Public Companies Forum yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said that although there are signs that the Bahamian economy is "turning the corner", the need for deepening and broadening the economy remains critical. 

Friday, November 9, 2018
Friday, November 9, 2018

PM: economy 'turning the corner'

Pictured: Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis officially opens the Securities Commission of The Bahamas Public Companies Forum November 8, 2018 at the British Colonial Hilton, Nassau. (BIS Photo/Yontalay Bowe)

The Bahamian economy is “turning the corner,” according to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

He made the comment as he officially opened the Securities Commission of The Bahamas Public Companies Forum.

The one-day conclave was held under the theme: “Expanding the Role of the Capital Markets In Bahamian Economic Development,” November 8, 2018 at British Colonial Hilton.

The forum provided an opportunity to discuss some of the initiatives undertaken by the government to create an environment for entrepreneurs.

It was also an opportunity to discuss recent strides the regulator has made to increase investor confidence in the markets, and to enhance the legal and regulatory framework to allow increased access to capital market funding for businesses, particularly small-and medium-sized enterprises.

According to the Prime Minister, the need for deepening and broadening the economy is critical.

“We must be resolved to improve investor confidence and the use of the markets by public companies if we are to harness the transformative economic potential latent in Bahamian businesses and investors.”

“Job-creation, strengthening the Bahamian economy, and improving the environment for business are top priorities for my administration,” he said.

The IMF recently projected real gross domestic product growth of 2.3 per cent for 2018, and 2.1 per cent for 2019, he noted.

He said although these projections are encouraging, there is an immense amount of ground to make up, particularly following a long period of economic decline following the recession of 2008.

“While the government has a pivotal role to play, the full response to boosting employment cannot rest solely on the government.”

“Viable, sustainable private businesses must truly be the drivers of the Bahamian economy,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that the government remains concerned about its rank on such lists as the World Bank Group’s Doing Business report, which shows how foreign investors perceive the jurisdiction.

“The government’s ease of doing business committee has proposed a suite of recommendations across the metrics to introduce real reform in the regulatory environment.”

“We have made some progress to date. But we need to make even greater progress in a timelier manner. Businesses can expect to start experiencing even greater progress as we look to start adopting key measures in the New Year,” the Prime Minister said.

A new study has found that cruise tourism and the 29.6 million passenger and crew onshore visits throughout 36 Caribbean region and Latin American destinations directly generated a record $3.36 billion in total expenditures, with The Bahamas raking in $405.8 million, the most in the region.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest led a delegation to Brussels and Paris this week, for frank discussions with high ranking officials within the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on The Bahamas’ compliance with international standards on tax governance.

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