Remarkable transformation for the Bahamas

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas is experiencing “remarkable transformation” as a direct result of domestic and foreign direct investment projects approved at $11.2 billion, Financial Services and Investments Minister Vincent Peet said.

He made the disclosure during the official opening of the Margaret McDonald Policy Management and Administration
Centre’s 5th annual conference held at Sandals Resort, Cable Beach on Wednesday, July 12.

The goal of the three days conference is to provide a forum for exploring strategies for implementing social and economic developments associated with the current mega development projects.

Between May 2002 and May 2006, he said, 430 investment projects were submitted to the Ministry of Financial Services.
Of that 48 are under construction, 181 are at various stages and many more are being considered.

The majority of these projects, he added, are located in the Family Islands – Exuma and its Cays, Abaco, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Rum Cay, Mayaguana, Bimini, Cat Island, Andros and the Berry Islands.

Notable projects are the multi billion-dollar Ginn property in west Grand Bahama, the billion dollar Kerzner and Baha Mar developments, the billion dollar Mayaguana development, the multi-million dollar properties in Rum Cay, Eleuthera and
Abaco, and the $250 million dollar development in Chub Cay, Berry Islands.

“The government is ensuring that there is an anchor project in almost every island in the Bahamas and the goal is to ensure that ‘no island will be left behind,” Mr Peet said.

“This progressive and forward thinking initiative,” he said, “has paved the way for the empowerment of Bahamians as they enjoy an even larger slice of economic pie”.

“Such mega developments will bring about economic and social challenges such as the demand for labour and improved work ethics”.

Since mega developers require and expect a readily available skilled workforce, Mr Peet said, the government last year established an Apprenticeship Programme, partnering with Kerzner International, Baha Mar Developers, the Bahamas Technology and Vocational Institute and the Department of Labour to train Bahamians.

“One hundred and forty Bahamians, have successfully completed and are guaranteed employment opportunities at
upcoming developments.

“Some $12 million dollars have been assigned to facilitate the preparation and training of Bahamians to meet the demands
of mega developments,” Minister Peet said.

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