Minister Thompson: ‘I believe the outlook for our island is hopeful’

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Senator Kwasi Thompson addressing attendees at the 20th Annual Grand Bahama Business Outlook at Grand Lucayan resort on February 22, 2018. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

“I firmly believe 2018 will be a better year than 2017. I believe the outlook for our island is hopeful.” These were the words of encouragement by Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, to those attending the opening of the 20thAnnual Grand Bahama Business Outlook, on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Grand Lucayan resort. The Minister of State told GB Port Authority executives, business owners, corporate and Chamber executives attending the conference that he, along with a number of his Cabinet and Parliamentary colleagues were all in the private sector just a few months ago, and were in a fight to survive, just like many business owners attending Business Outlook. It is that ability to identify with those in the private sector that, the Minister says, fuels their passion to make a difference in Grand Bahama. “If we truly want the Bahamas to succeed, Grand Bahama must succeed,” added Minister Thompson. “It will require a national and unified focus, innovative ideas, political courage and will, an opening of the gates for investment, less red tape and more red carpet, a willingness to change and simple old-fashioned faith.”

Minister Thompson said that the government has embarked upon a major mission to diversify the economy, provide employment for Bahamians at home and abroad, and provide that critical mass or population for Grand Bahama, by establishing The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama Island, as a leading technology hub. “In December the government appointed a Tech Hub Steering Committee tasked with making full recommendations to the government,” said Minister Thompson. “I am pleased to say they have completed and have made the recommendations to government. He outlined some of those recommendations, and said, “One potential technology company is now in the process of applying for a license, specializing in cyber Fraud Detection, Cyber Data Intelligence, and Operation Excellence and has indicated their intent to hire 50 Bahamians within the first year of operation, and another 85 in the second year.” Minister Thompson noted that based on the success of the first Grand Bahama Technology Summit, the government, along with the Technology Steering Committee, has committed to making the conference an annual one in November.  They are also in the process of planning a major international Venture Capital conference for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in May of this year. “We want to welcome leaders in this industry to not only discuss this industry but showcase Grand Bahama in the process. This is the future and us in Grand Bahama must be prepared to show the world that we are going to be a major player in this region.”

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