Cruise port project will have significant GDP impact, notes CFAL president
The redevelopment of Nassau’s cruise port could lead to a significant increase in The Bahamas’ gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023, Colina Financial Advisors Ltd. (CFAL) President Anthony Ferguson said yesterday, adding that the heads of agreement with the government on the project could be completed in the next six weeks.
“The economic impact is going to be up to $18 billion or $20 billion so as a result of that [GDP] will increase, when you think about it if you divide that, probably between 0.5 percent and one percent,” Ferguson said.
Asked if this GDP increase would happen before 2021, Ferguson said, “No, no, no, no. Once it’s fully operational so that wouldn’t happen before, probably in the beginning of 2022 or 2023 you will begin to see a noticeable increase, a sustainable increase in the GDP contribution.”
In February, it was announced that Global Ports Holding (GPH) won the bid to redevelop and manage the Port of Nassau, heralded as the world’s busiest cruise port.
Speaking about the heads of agreement for the project, Ferguson said, “It’s in negotiations so hopefully within the next month, six weeks, it will be concluded.”
He noted that the agreement will be “the best heads of agreement for Bahamians” and will ensure “Bahamian-only retail space”.
Ferguson also said the environmental impact assessment (EIA) will start before the end of the year.
“They have engaged an environmental consulting company and they will, I guess, commence work shortly,” Ferguson said.
Roughly 80 percent of the employees for the first phase of development will be Bahamian, according to Ferguson.
He said “about 85 percent or 90 percent” of the employees operating the port when it is completed will be Bahamian.
CFAL is a collaborator for the port development project and is the lead investment management firm that will develop and create the Bahamas Investment Fund.
It is hoped that 20,000 to 30,000 Bahamians will participate in the public offering for the cruise port. In order to get the largest share of Bahamians invested in the port, GPH is providing a $10 million loan for Bahamians to borrow up to $1,000 so that they can invest in the project.
Those investment opportunities are expected to begin by the end of the year.