Bahamas Prime Minister Business Visit To London, England
The Prime Minister told investors and entrepreneurs at the Summit, themed “Time To Invest in The Caribbean” that the tourism sector and its specialised industries will continue to be the engine of economic growth, employment, industry diversification and business improvement for most of the forty million citizens of The Caribbean.
“This year, there has been more resilience seen in those economies in the region with rebounding tourism which has been supported by a rejuvenated US economy, lowered fuel prices and an improved investment climate. The climate is indeed ripe for inward investment in the Caribbean which has re-doubled its efforts toward implementing energy and fiscal reforms, promotion of investment incentives, strengthening of compliance frameworks and continued redress of social ills in the wake of the global economic crisis,” Prime Minister Christie told the Summit.
Hutchison Whampoa To Invest Up To 300 Million in Grand Bahama
Prime Minister Christie, the Minister of Tourism, Minister for Grand Bahama, Task Force Chairman and The Bahamas Investment Authority met with officials of Hutchison Whampoa in London; the company responsible for Freeport Container Port.
The government wants to strengthen their relationship with Hutchison Whampoa and be collaborative in its efforts to strengthen the economy of Grand Bahama and provide sustained growth for the nation’s second city.
“Mr Canning Fok (Hutchison Whampoa) head of an arm of the company confirmed that by the end of the year or likely sometime in October or November, they invest some 280, up to 300 million dollars for the expansion of the container port, that means hundreds of new jobs, and hundreds of new jobs before Christmas. So therefore it is a tremendous shot in the arm for Grand Bahama,” Prime Minister Christie said during an interview.
The announcement comes on the heels of the government’s extension of business license and real property tax embedded in The Hawksbill Creek agreement.
The Hutchison Whampoa officials added that their MSC group, the cargo and cruise ship arm of the company will develop a new destination in The Bahamas and inject between 100 and 200 million dollars.
“They plan on starting an academy in Grand Bahama that will train young people to work on their cargo ships and their cruise ships. They will be bringing online a significant number of cruise ships, huge cruise ships.The island that the company plan on using for leasing purposes and even a small hotel,” said Prime Minister Christie.
Hutchison Whampoa have decided to open another hotel, The Lighthouse Club in Grand Bahama by December, where two hundred additional rooms are expected to be open for the Winter season.