Still no real plan by FNM for Grand Bahama…
Freeport, Grand Bahama – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest says the government is convinced that the health and strength of Grand Bahama’s economy is vital to the nation’s overall growth and development.
“I can’t stress that enough because people don’t necessarily understand how important Grand Bahama is to the entire health of this country, because it is still the second largest economy in the country, never mind that Abaco is gaining on our heels every day and other islands like Exuma are holding their own,” added Minister Turnquest, who was the guest speaker at the 12th Annual Northern Conference of The Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers, which was held at Pelican Bay Resort, October 25, 2017.
“If (Grand Bahama’s economy) fails, it will cause enormous pressure on the rest of the country,” added Minister Turnquest. “So, I can’t understate how important it is for us to get Grand Bahama right.”
In his address to Compliance Officers, Minister Turnquest said his government feels it has an obligation to do what it can to ensure that Grand Bahama succeeds.
He said that is just the first step in delivering on the commitments the government has made to the people of Grand Bahama and for the people of The Bahamas.
“The economic transformation of Grand Bahama requires growth,” said Minister Thompson. “According to the IMF World outlook, The Bahamas is forecasted to grow by 1.8 percent in 2017 and by 2.5 percent in 2018. However, that growth will not happen and be sustained if the government does not do its part to facilitate economic transformation.
“And again, getting Grand Bahama’s economy going is a key, critical component to achieving those goals. In fact, the country cannot progress without undertaking reforms that lead to better business conditions. These reforms are critical to achieve better living standards, moderate inflation, low inflationary concerns and high growth rates.”
The Finance Minister noted that The Bahamas fell in its rankings on the “ease of doing business” ladder since last year and to a large extent that fall was not because of something the Bahamian government did, but rather what they did not do.
“In other words, if we continue to stand still, thinking that we are doing okay, we are going to fall further and further behind because the rest of the world is moving forward,” Minister Thompson pointed out. “For example, Jamaica has made tremendous strides in its utilization of technology in order to facilitate and make the ease of doing business much better. And they have leap-frogged ahead of us.
“We have an obligation and we have a commitment to make the improvements, to make the changes that we need to make in order to ensure that we keep pace, at a minimum. But I challenge my people every day to make a quantum leap to ensure that we get ahead.”