Due to our location in the Atlantic Ocean, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has no shortage of viable fishing grounds along with some farming areas on other islands. Yet the bigger question is, why is our food import bill at $1 billion?
The national debt is now slightly over $10 billion and has continued to increase since independence. The Bahamas makes $12 billion per year and we’re still financially blind to the actions that increase the national debt.
Along with excessive borrowing and spending money on useless things, the costs of imports are simply far higher than just the $1 billion bill for food.
It’s the cars, construction materials and equipment, electronics and other goods except straw market souvenirs. If this adds up, the imports could be three to slightly over $5 billion in costs.
We’re bleeding money more than we’re generating money in this country, and that will be the recipe for a collapsed economy similar to Greece, when they defaulted in 2015, following six years of their own depressed economy since the Great Recession.
If The Bahamas is to escape the fate of the Greek economy, then the new administration needs to recognize that tourism won’t pay the debt completely.
Agriculture and farming needs to be fully developed along with creating a sizable shipbuilding industry and manufacturing small to medium-sized electronics.
As we build a new economy, new tariffs will be used to prevent excessive importation of items. The more products we build locally, the higher the tariffs go, unless it’s a product or resource that isn’t found in The Bahamas.
Exporting most food and agricultural goods should be banned to prevent compromising food security.
If the vision of an independent Bahamas were fully recognized, citizen spending and living standards increased significantly to the point where it’s comfortable enough to thrive, our debt-to-GDP ratio would fall slightly below half and the GDP would be $40 billion to $60 billion per year.
The Bahamas would soon become the biggest hub for commerce in the Caribbean and the GDP per capital would increase by $15,000 to $20,000 for every working class citizen.
If any government administration is to achieve the goals of a prosperous nation, it must do the things necessary to achieve that promise.
Nothing else will help The Bahamas to become prosperous.