Govt takes aim at top 50 ease of doing business ranking

Cooper: Bahamas Invest will manage a new model to fast track projects

The new Davis administration will seek to rocket The Bahamas’ ease of doing business score into the top 50 countries where business facilitation is the best in the world, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said over the weekend.

Speaking at the National Association for Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) annual African American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit and Trade Show on Saturday, his first international engagement since assuming office almost more than three weeks ago, Cooper assured the crowd that the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) “Blueprint for Change” plots the course for The Bahamas to achieve this significant jump on the World Bank’s Doing Business list.

The Bahamas’ ranking on the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index currently sits at 119 out of 190 countries.

Cooper assured the room that his government’s creation of a new body – called Bahamas Invest – will ensure that investment projects are no longer unnecessarily delayed by red tape.

“Bahamas Invest will manage a new model to fast track projects,” said Cooper.

“The Bahamas is business-friendly, investment-focused and open for business, more than we have ever been open before.”

Last week, the newly-appointed Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis in an address to the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) also vowed that the government would improve The Bahamas’ ease of doing business ranking and remove roadblocks for entrepreneurs. Halkitis was the keynote speaker at the BFSB’s 23rd annual general meeting and said his ministry plans to lead the charge in changing The Bahamas into a more business-friendly jurisdiction.

“The government will do its part in spurring innovation through our own digitization and ease of doing business efforts,” Halkitis said.

“We will roll out the technologies that will allow government services to be as efficient and effective as possible, while introducing policies that will empower entrepreneurs rather than impeding them with bureaucracy and red tape.

“For too long, we have sat at the bottom half of global ease of doing business rankings. It is time for us to level up by setting the stage for our business owners to be successful and then stepping out of the way, so they can do what they do best.”

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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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