By Betty Vedrine
Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas is set to officially launch the Bahamas Trade Information Service Portal.
The objective of the portal is to diversify the economy through trade initiatives and to address the need for reliable, current and readily available trade information.
The new electronic gateway will be launched at the British Colonial Hilton on Thursday, April 6, 2017. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Right Hon. Perry G. Christie is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.
The portal, which is a public-private partnership with the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, will serve as an online platform for buyers, sellers and businesses through which to communicate as well as conduct the operations of their business.
As one of its main objectives, the portal would provide businesses with reliable trade data, collected, collated and conveniently stored on a centralized and user-friendly platform. Consequently, Bahamian entrepreneurs would have online access to market access requirements for a given commodity/category of commodity in foreign markets of interest, and vice versa.
Additionally, the Portal would serve as an important business facilitation measure as it will reduce the cost and time required to access trade information thereby increasing the ease of doing business for Bahamas-based businesses and their trading partners.
Further, the portal would develop The Bahamas as an important value-added trade centre in the Caribbean based on the utilization of its numerous assets. These include trade logistics infrastructure (container port, transshipment terminals and shipyard repair facilities), its strategic location at the crossroads of the Americas, its free trade zone potential, and recognition as a world-class financial centre.
Funds for the portal were derived from grant funding provided under the 10th tranche of the European Development Fund (10thEDF), a technical assistance component made available by the European Union through the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA, the first reciprocal trade agreement signed by The Bahamas in 2008, seeks to strengthen economic and trade relations between the signatories through the enhancement of trade and investment flows.