Signs of Hope…Progress, Said Prime Minister Minnis

Prime Minister The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis

“There are many signs of hope, many signs of progress. This budget is a sign of progress,” said Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis in his closing remarks to the 2021/2022 budget debate.

We are providing concessions and incentives for Bahamians to thrive in areas such as small business development, fisheries, agriculture, tourism and the digital economy. The Prime Minister announced that Carnival and Royal Caribbean have agreed to
a new combined investment of approximately $350 million in the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

To understand the scale of this investment, he said, to date investments in the shipyard had totaled approximately $250 million dollars. This new investment will match this and exceed it by $100 million. The proposed infrastructure works will replace the two damaged docks with even larger ones. The new docks will be capable of handling and servicing, the Prime Minister said, “the largest ships in the world!”

This will result in a notable increase in employment and economic activity on Grand Bahama and for businesses throughout Freeport and Grand Bahama.

The Government and the owners of the Shipyard will work on a new partnership agreement that benefits the people of Grand Bahama. This is one of the biggest investments in Grand Bahama in its history.

“I would also like to provide a brief update on the COVID-19 national vaccine initiative and changes with the Emergency,” he said.

“As we continue to reopen our economy and communities, we must bear in mind that we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is critical that we protect each island in our archipelago. Measures have been put in place across our family of islands to control and to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These measures include monitoring new cases, hospitalizations, and other health outcomes.

“A part of slowing the spread of COVID-19 is vaccinating our population. We are making good progress with our COVID-19 vaccination programme. But more people need to be vaccinated if we are to return to a more, an even greater sense of normalcy sooner.”