The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) is currently in the midst of a major reform effort to ensure that it can meet international expectations for national development, including support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to business process re-engineering to improve service quality, the Bank is also developing a new Strategic Plan. The Plan will integrate the need for climate change mitigation, environmental sustainability, gender equity and financial inclusion while ensuring that the Bank is focused on development that will tangibly increase economic empowerment for
Bahamians. BDB will invest in the Green, Blue and Orange Economies by specifically allocating financing for projects and entrepreneurs that focus on technology for greater industrialization, renewable energy,
sustainable agriculture and sustainable tourism.
As part of the environmental assessment for the Strategic Plan, experts from the firm “International Financial Consulting” (IFC) visited the Bahamas in November 2019 to meet with a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders. IFC Ltd has worked with national, regional, and multi-lateral development banks in over 65 countries. The company is globally recognized in Development Banking, Private Sector Development, Access to Finance, and Risk Management. In keeping with the BDBs’ mandate to support economic development across the archipelago, the consultants visited Grand Bahama and Exuma. In Grand Bahama, Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. James Kwasi Thompson identified industry development opportunities, particularly in the maritime industry as well as the need to support SMES with capital in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. As part of the discussion, the Bank’s apiary program was highlighted as an example of how combining technical training and financing could provide opportunities for turnkey startups across the country.
In Exuma, stakeholders highlighted the need for holistic development on the island to compliment the $44M airport planned for 2020. Restaurants, housing, agriculture and fisheries development, taxis, medical facilities were all cited as areas for potential development investment. The Bahamas Development Bank is committed to transparency and collaboration and will continue to hold stakeholder discussions to identify synergies that maximize national resources.