“Do not believe the fake news that is out there, because the Grand Lucayan deal is very much alive and underway and we have made tremendous progress with respect to that deal,” said Minister of State for Grand Bahama, in the Office of The Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson. The Minister’s remarks came during his opening address of the second annual Business-to-Business Expo, which was held at Pelican Bay resort on Thursday. Minister Thompson said that they are at the end of the negotiating process with the Grand Lucayan resort and what they are negotiating goes beyond just transferring ownership of a hotel from one company to the next. “What we are doing is providing a unique destination for Grand Bahama, one that is different and set apart from the rest of The Bahamas,” said Minister Thompson. “We believe that at the end of the day, we will see up to two well-known brand names that have never been in The Bahamas before. “This will truly provide a unique destination for Grand Bahama.” The second annual Business-to-business Expo was held in partnership with the Office of The Prime Minister in Grand Bahama and the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce; according to Minister Thompson, it has been designed to generate much-needed growth in Grand Bahama’s local economy. Minister Thompson noted that the Business Expo serves as an avenue to bring people and businesses together, provide large corporations with local options for their purchasing needs and empower small businesses to frame their services to be able to engage with those large companies. “The Government is confident that through this collaboration, many of the goods and services now imported from foreign vendors can now instead be delivered by Grand Bahamian businesses.”
The Business-to-business Expo was launched in 2017 with the Grand Bahama Shipyard and Buckeye having provided specific information on their procurement process and requirements. This year’s Expo presented a panel of representatives from Statoil, Pharmachem Technologies, and Quality Services Limited. In addition to the on-going mega projects within some of the companies who presented at this year’s expo, Minister Thompson said that the Government is excited that several investment projects are presently underway in Grand Bahama that will provide even greater opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Minister Thompson outlined the various other projects that are in the pipeline of development, which will all help to revive the economy of Grand Bahama: Seaward Fishing Village in Deadman’s Reef; the expansion of the Blue Marlin Cove and the much anticipated $2.8 billion Grand Palm Beach Acquisitions Limited Resort, which was once known as the Ginn project. “This project was recently approved in principle by the government and we are now in the process of negotiating ahead of Agreement with the new owners,” said Minister Thompson.
“We’ve seen the Zipline and Water Park recently opened here in Freeport and we anticipate that a well-known skating rink and go-cart facility will be reopening its doors in Grand Bahama. The WIndriver Tobacco manufacturing company has recently commenced its operations right here in Grand Bahama, where they are manufacturing tobacco products for export. “I recently visited the construction site of one of our major food store owners, who has embarked upon a major, multi-million dollar expansion project.” Minister Thompson pointed out that the Government of The Bahamas remains committed to making Grand Bahama the technology hub of The Bahamas. To this end, he noted that they have made some progress in respect to making that a reality. He said Technology companies have been taking advantage of the Commercial Enterprise Act, which was recently passed by Parliament and as such three technology companies have been given approval in principle to operate in Grand Bahama. “In fact, one of those companies is represented here at this Expo, that is GIBC Digital Company,” said Minister Thompson. “They have already indicated that they are in the process of hiring up to fifty people here in Grand Bahama.”
Minister Thompson noted that this year’s Business-to-business Expo comes at an opportune time particularly for those who have recently participated in the Government’s Small and Micro Business Enterprise Program. The Office of the Prime Minister in Grand Bahama has provided business grants to over 40 new and existing businesses in Grand Bahama. “We believe that this initiative sets the tone for sustainable development and diversification of our Grand Bahama economy,” said Minister Thompson. “Without a doubt, the business-to-business initiative stands to benefit all stakeholders, changing the way we do business and moving us forward to becoming stronger, and a more self-sufficient island and nation.”