New Minister plans to continue robust and transparent fiscal and economic policies

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson

I am humbled to be chosen by the Most Honorable Prime Minister Hubert A. Minnis to assume my role at the Ministry of Finance as Minister of State. I do so at a time of great domestic and global turmoil because of Hurricane Dorian and the coronavirus pandemic. I remain grateful to God for the opportunity to serve and humbly ask for your support and prayers.

I will serve to the best of my ability by the grace of God. As we navigate our way through this public health crisis the country remains in a vulnerable position.

However, the timely and decisive actions of the Government have helped the country to maintain fiscal stability, investor confidence and minimum levels of domestic consumption as we mitigate the economic fallout. The Government’s prioritization of citizen welfare has meant a focus on feeding programs, income replacement, employment retention and small business development, even as we have had to cut back in many areas. The public can be assured of our continued focus on these
critical areas.

As Minister of State for Finance, I intend to focus on the revitalization, development and full recovery of Grand Bahama and the Family Islands as a part of our National Recovery Strategy. In addition, our National Recovery will rely on the use of innovation and new technologies to drive theexpansion of our economy. Some of these areas are the Government’s Digital Transformation, Cashless Initiatives, Ease of Doing Business, Digitizing the Investment process, promoting the Digital Economy, and E-Commerce Development.

I intend to work closely with the competent team of experts and professionals who have been providing policy advice and administrative support throughout this administration and long before. This will allow the Ministry’s work to continue without interruption. I have confidence in their work and plan to jump right in to continue implementing the robust and transparent fiscal and economic policies of the Government. The Government will continue to do everything it needs to do to ensure the viability of the Bahamian economy and a strong and robust recovery. Our track record of reducing the deficit to its lowest levels in a decade prior to Hurricane Dorian and Covid-19 is evidence of our ability to do this.

Under the capable leadership of my predecessor, the Honourable Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama K. Peter Turnquest, the Ministry of Finance also institutionalized new standards of fiscal transparency and accountability, and made a habit of engaging in broad consultation with stakeholders through public education and other forms of direct engagement.

Most recently, it was with the Abaco Chamber of Commerce and stakeholders in the busines community. As the new Minister of State, we will continue to consult broadly with business stakeholders, civil society, consumer groups and the general public to ensure the policy positions of the Government reflect the realities on the ground and are responsive to the needs of our citizenry. The public can feel free to write the Ministry and to provide the policy feedback that will be vital as we move towards recovery. I remain Grateful to God for the opportunity to serve and humbly ask for your support and prayers. I will serve to the best of my ability by the grace of God.