Turnquest keynote speaker at chamber’s national conclave
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest will be the keynote speaker at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation’s (BCCEC) fifth annual national conclave next Wednesday and Thursday, where he is expected to address the business community on government’s strategy, especially with regard to government’s 2018/2019 annual budget.
The private sector, which the BCCEC represents, has been up in arms regarding the government’s decision to increase value-added tax (VAT) from 7.5 percent to 12 percent and allow only one month for it to be implemented.
BCCEC CEO Edison Sumner said conclave attendees will be able to fully engage with the minister of finance and will likely have their concerns answered during that time. He said many other topics will also be discussed.
“This year we’re going to be talking about The Bahamas as a global enterprise and will be centered around issues that are relative to taxation, energy, labor, employment, land development, Family Island infrastructural development and ease of doing business,” said Sumner.
“We’re also going to focus our attention on discussions relative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and our accession process.”
Christina Lee Darville, the BCCEC’s communication, membership and fundraising committee head, explained that ease of doing business will be a significant topic at the conclave, especially given the government’s focus on the creation and expansion of small businesses in the country in the 2018/2019 national budget.
Darville said there will be a round table discussion focused on the country’s tax regime in general, especially in regards to The Bahamas’ accession to the WTO in a year and a half.
She added that employers are concerned about labor and employment in the country. She said their biggest issue is access to knowledgeable and educated employees. There will be a round table discussion on this issue at the conclave.
Banking will also be a topic of discussion.