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Cooper: More focus on FDI needed

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Chester Cooper yesterday called on Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to attract more “legitimate” foreign direct investment (FDI) to The Bahamas.

“There are many low-hanging fruit projects in the pipeline left by the former administration like the Children’s Bay Cay in Exuma. I am led to understand that many legitimate investors have not yet met the prime minister after more than two-and-a-half years in office,” Cooper said at a press conference at PLP headquarters.

Despite the frequent traveling of Cabinet members, the government has “very little to show by way of FDI,” according to Cooper.

“We invite the prime minister to use his remaining two years in office wisely and become promoter-in-chief of The Bahamas to attract investment,” he said.

“The agencies of the government like the Bahamas Investment Authority and foreign officers must be given clear mandates to seek and find new investors.”

Cooper also noted that Minnis should use his influence “to encourage domestic investments that will drive economic activity”.

Earlier this year, Minnis touted the growth and expansion of domestic and foreign direct investment under his administration.

During a national address on January 28, the prime minister noted that his government had approved roughly $3.7 billion in FDI projects.

“Many of these projects, once approved, immediately contracted Bahamian firms for legal, accounting, project management, engineering, environmental, architectural, consulting and other professional services,” Minnis said at the time.

“The success in foreign direct investment is due in part to the increase of information communication technology enterprises and boutique financial services investments as companies look to make The Bahamas their regional headquarters for the Caribbean.”

Since 2017, New Providence has received about 55 percent of the inward flows of FDI, according to the prime minister.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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