• STRENGTHENING THE PUBLIC SECTOR TO ENSURE GOVERNMENT MAXIMISES ITS RETURN

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest said the strengthening of the Public Sector, particularly around project evaluation and procurement will ensure that the Government maximises the return on every dollar spent by the Government. “In turn, this will allow us to provide better infrastructure and other public investments to improve the competitiveness of our country,” DPM Turnquest said at the Billionaire Roundtable’s ‘Jumpstart Our Business Start-Ups’ at the Hyatt Baha Mar Convention Centre, Thursday, June 29, 2017. He explained that The Bahamas is making significant efforts towards strengthening it public sector’s institutional and management capacity. “The Public Financial Management Reform project, financed through a loan operation by the Inter-American Development Bank, will enhance the quality of managing public expenditure by (a) better performance monitoring, (b) the generation of better statistical information and (c) the improvement of budget execution.”

    The DPM said the project’s overall objective is to strengthen the Government of The Bahamas’ capacity to allocate, manage and monitor public resources. He said under the programme, the Bahamas Investment Authority will also be restructured to make it more effective in carrying out its mandate. “We want to ensure that investments are targeted to sectors that will add to the long term growth and sustainability of the Bahamian economy. A focus will also be placed on ensuring value for money – meaning that every dollar of customs exceptions, VAT and real property tax relief or other benefits given – must translate into true economic impact in the economy.”DPM Turnquest also noted that the Government wants the country to be able to compete in the world not only based on concessions, but more importantly on the basis that its people, infrastructure and business processes are best in class. “When deciding to set up business in The Bahamas, we want investors, Bahamians and foreign, to understand that we have the skills, we have the productivity, we have the supporting infrastructure and stable legal environment to make the best go out of starting a business.”

    He said the Government also wants to strengthen The Bahamas’ microeconomic competitiveness and it is diligently carrying out a programme to improve the ease of doing business and the business environment.

    “We are devising clear industrial policy to ensure that we develop clusters for knowledge transfers and innovation around areas where we have competitive advantage, and we are ensuring that we continue to climb the value ladder, moving to increasingly more value-added goods and services in our productive mix.”

    DPM Turnquest said, “In short then, we are in the process of becoming the most competitive country in the Caribbean region.”

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