From: Bahamas Information Services
The Davis Administration has set the year 2026 for The Bahamas to rank in the top tier of the World Bank’s index for Ease of Doing Business. This was expressed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper in his address to The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants 50 th Anniversary Virtual Conclave on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. It was held under the theme, ‘50 Years and Counting: What’s Next?’
In the context of investments, the minister said that the investment mandate is at the very core of the government’s economic plan. And, it is by design that the ministry he heads is now called, “The Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.”
“As an investor-friendly nation, this new administration has given itself a goal to achieve within the next five years,” the minister said. “By 2026, our objective is to attain a spot in the World Bank’s Top 50 Index for Ease of Doing Business. Our blueprint maps out the path to this objective.” He added: “We have set out to build a sleek, well-oiled machinery to facilitate foreign and local investors. We will enhance Bahamas Invest, the investment promotional arm of the government to fast track and promote a new model of foreign direct investment.”
In this vein, the minister told BICA that it would be called upon to advise all of these new business developments to ensure sustainability. He said although the country is still battling the COVID-19 pandemic, there are clear indicators that things are progressing.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was an unforeseen crisis that has had an unprecedented impact on global tourism – an impact we have felt deeply right here in The Bahamas, where tourism is the bread and butter of our economy, accounting for 50 percent of our entire GDP and 65% of our employment,” the minister said.
This “monumental hit” to the economy, he continued, came on the heels of the most destructive Atlantic Hurricane, Dorian, which, tore through two of the northern islands, Grand Bahama and Abaco.
“We as a nation have been through quite a lot in the last two years, but we are strong and resilient and together we will persevere and come out even better than before. With the reopening of travel, our economic prospects are looking quite promising,” he said. As all engage in rebuilding the economy, the minister noted that the “What’s Next” is focused on two core elements – strong growth in tourism and a pipeline of international investments.
“From a tourism perspective, we are trending in the right direction for rebound and recovery, particularly as travel restrictions ease and travellers have greater access to vaccinations,” he said, noting he is optimistic for a robust holiday season.”