Turnquest to GB residents: Economic turnaround takes time
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest is pleading with Grand Bahama residents to exercise a little more patience in regards to the economic turnaround promised for the island, adding that the government is working as quickly as it can to drive forward the proposed projects slated for the suffering island.
“Unfortunately, we are at that stage of development as a country where we want things now. We feel that we’ve put in enough investment and things should be turning around for us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in economics,” he said.
“It takes a little while for things to turn around. What we’ve done over the last two years is we’ve put in place the foundation where we can launch now and hopefully we can bear the fruits of that hard work.”
Turnquest was responding to comments that little focus was placed on Grand Bahama in his 2019/2020 budget communication.
The government has allocated $12.1 million for the Ministry for Grand Bahama for the upcoming fiscal year, slightly less than the $12.5 million approved for this fiscal year.
“In Grand Bahama in particular, you know that there are two major projects that are on the drawing board and we’re driving them to conclusion as quickly as we possibly can, bearing in mind that these are international, publicly listed companies that we’re dealing with and they have their shareholders and their board of directors that they have to satisfy that any deal made is in the best interest of the shareholders, and we on the other hand have to make sure that it’s in the best interest of the Bahamian people,” Turnquest said.
“So, there are negotiations going on and these things take time. Taking that in mind, we are fully confident that towards the middle to end of this year that we will see the tangible benefits of that work on the ground and the economy will start to turn.”
The finance minister pointed to the 117 new business licenses issued by the Grand Bahama Port Authority over the past year as proof the island’s economy has reached a turning point.
“That’s saying something, the economy is starting to pick up, people are starting to regain their confidence in the Grand Bahamian economy and that’s going to be to the benefit for the overall situation in Grand Bahama, I think in short order,” he said.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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