Rewards from Commercial Enterprises Act already being felt on GB, say ministers
The rewards from the Commercial Enterprises Act are already being felt on Grand Bahama, according to Minister for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson and Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.
Turnquest, who was the keynote speaker at the Grand Bahama Business Outlook yesterday, said he has seen two applications through the act that are receiving “favorable attention”.
Thompson said the island is primed to become a technology hub, with many investors looking at Grand Bahama after the island held a tech summit last year. Thompson announced yesterday that the summit will become an annual fixture for Grand Bahama.
He added that the government’s technology hub steering committee has given recommendations to government, which are now being considered. Some of those recommendations could become the basis for legislation.
The initial Commercial Enterprises Bill came under heavy scrutiny last year because it appeared to favor foreigners in the government’s endeavor to diversify the economy by attracting technology firms. The government is seeking to make Grand Bahama the Silicon Valley of this region.
The bill liberalizes the granting of work permits to an enterprise that wishes to establish itself in The Bahamas and requires work permits for its management team and key personnel.
Government explained that the bill is designed to attract “new and diverse businesses that are not looking at The Bahamas because of the rigidities that affect new businesses in this country”.
Thompson said big companies like Carnival Cruise Lines are already bringing their own technology projects to Grand Bahama. He was referencing the cruise line’s Ocean Medallion project, which is under development and now being tested. It uses technology to create a personal concierge service for Carnival’s passengers.
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