Abaco seeking to form an economic development council to attract investment to the island

Abaco is hoping to form an economic development council, run by the private sector, that would attract investment to the island based on what Abaconians need and not what the central government thinks Abaconians need, Abaco Chamber of Commerce President Ken Hutton said yesterday.

“The decisions are being made in hallowed halls in Nassau, without consultation from the private sector, or the taxpayers here in Abaco, and we think that needs to change,” said Hutton.

Hutton made his remarks during a presentation at the Bahamas Business Outlook, explaining that the council would be one way for Abaco to address its own needs, while still considering input from the government.

According to Hutton, if the council is assembled and run properly, it could be an important bridge between the government and private sector. 

“One of the things that we believe should happen… is we are looking at forming an economic development council for Abaco which would be run by the private sector, which involves government input but we need to be able to, in our own way, attract investment to our island.

“We can’t rely on Nassau to market our island because they don’t know our island. One of the plans that we have is we want to put together an economic council that includes the private sector, local government players and all the regulatory bodies, so that we can go out and we can say, ‘you need to come to Abaco, these are the opportunities not only in tourism but in agriculture, in infrastructure, in housing and in development’.”

Hutton said this model should not only be used on Abaco but should be modeled by all of the islands that are chief economic drivers for the country like Grand Bahama, Exuma, Eleuthera and Abaco.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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