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Bahamas Business Outlook turns 25 next week


The Bahamas Business Outlook (BBO) turns 25 this year, with a special focus — through the annual conference’s theme — on “A bold agenda for the next 25 years”.

True to the conference tradition, Prime Minister Perry Christie is expected to open the conference with an address on the theme.

The silver jubilee anniversary of BBO — as conference founder Joan Albury styles it — is scheduled for Thursday, January 21, 2016 at the Melia Nassau Beach resort. BBO is celebrating a quarter century of providing a well-respected forum for the discussion of national business and financial matters.

Speakers will include Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chairman Gowon Bowe of PricewaterhouseCoopers; Nassau Airport

Development President and CEO Vernice Walkine; environmental consultant Dr. Arthur Rolle; Bahamas Insurance Association Chairman Emmanuel Komolafe; engineer Sonia Brown, Director of Youth Darren Turnquest, educator Candice Deal, Donovan Moxey and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s Carlisle Roberts, who will discuss building The Bahamas’ first “smart city”.

At a press conference announcing the lineup of speakers, Albury said: “I would just like to thank the many people who supported us over the past 25 years… I’d like to mention in particular British American Financial, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Finance, FOCOL/Sun Oil, Atlantic Medical, and Scotiabank. We have had many other supporters. I recall when we began Business Outlook 25 years ago that it was Phil Galanis and Ernst and Young who supported the idea that we had and I’d like to go on record as thanking Phil Galanis and the management team of Ernst and Young for believing in us and supporting the Business Outlook 25 years ago.

“The whole purpose of Business Outlook is to share information, to stimulate thinking, to develop business, to let people know what the predictions are for the next 12 months,” she said.

Albury said the upcoming Bahamas Business Outlook will be a very special one.

“We are working hard to inject novelty to create excitement. We are grateful that Prime Minister Christie and the entire speaker slate have already confirmed their participation. Secondly, the topics of the forum center on those burning issues that will decide the economic future of this country next year and through the next quarter century. Subjects encompass tax, energy and education reform, the nation’s premier airport and its role in tourism and enhancing creative capital as an economic driver. These are just a few of our very timely focal points.

“Happily, we have been successful in bringing together people who, because of their leadership in the sectors under scrutiny, are best suited to inform on and answer questions about the issues highlighted on the BBO 2016 agenda,” Albury said.

Also at the press conference, Rolle — who will present on “making climate change your business” — said he would highlight climate-related risks, and show evidence of climate change in The Bahamas and how it impacts business.

“I would like to show the business community their role in adaptation and mitigation of climate change in The Bahamas,” Rolle said, foreshadowing a discussion about the “green economy” and renewable energy.

BIA Chairman Komolafe noted that the association is 40 years old, and said his presentation would cover the impact the insurance industry has had on The Bahamas.

Speakers

In addition to the prime minister as keynote speaker, Albury announced the following featured speakers and their topics:

Tax reform – Gowon N G Bowe, partner PWC, chairman, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce & Employers’ Confederation.

LPIA, gateway to a bold tourism vision for The Bahamas – Vernice Walkine, president and chief executive officer, Nassau Airport Development.

Making climate change your business – Arthur Rolle, consultant at the Ministry of the Environment and Health.

The role of insurance in 21st Century Bahamas – Emmanuel Komolafe, chairman, Bahamas Insurance Association; chief risk officer at Colina Holdings Bahamas Limited and head of risk and compliance at Ansbacher (Bahamas) Limited.

Energy reform – Sonia Brown, principal, Graphite Engineering.

Building The Bahamas’ first smart city and the opportunity for the telecoms industry — Carlyle J. Roberts; VP, enterprise and strategic solutions, BTC.

Vision – Darren Turnquest, director of youth.

Education reform and the skilled labor force in The Bahamas – Candice Lynnette Deal, Ph.D, professor of accounting, Eastern Connecticut State University.

The mobile revolution, how mobile apps are changing the way we communicate and conduct business – Donovan Moxey, Ph.D, CEO, IBS International.

The conference will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., with a cocktail reception to follow.

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