Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) Chairman Bishop Gregory Collie visited Bimini recently to prepare craft vendors for the economic activity that will stem from Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) opening of Ocean Cay in November, a press release on the matter said.
Collie explained to those vendors and artisans that an “economic transformation” will follow the official opening of Ocean Cay on November 9, and he urged those on the island to prepare for it.
Collie revealed in a press release that MSC representatives have been in talks with BAIC officials for assistance in identifying and recommending Bahamians capable of providing quality and authentically Bahamian items on a consistent basis.
Collie said BAIC will develop a portal where artisans can source local suppliers of the raw materials they need to create their authentic products.
“MSC plans to offer its cruise passengers an authentic Bahamian experience at ‘Bahamian Shop and Market’, which will host authentic arts and crafts by local artisans and Bahamian companies,” the release stated.
BAIC Senior Deputy General Manager Debbie Strachan recently met with MSC representatives to discuss its provision of Bahamian goods at Ocean Cay, as spelled out in its heads of agreement with the government.
“This is an excellent opportunity for potential stall operators to partner with other suppliers in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Exuma, Long Island and Andros to ensure that they have supplies of Bahamian-made items on a regular and consistent basis,” Strachan said in the release.
Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago explained at a press conference recently that MSC turned the former aragonite mining site of Ocean Cay from a contaminated industrial site into a “paradise” at the hefty cost of $300 million. It now expects 500,000 people to visit the site annually aboard MSC’s cruise ships.