GB Minister Spoke on Small Business Development at OAS gathering in Washington D.C.

24 Jul 2017


G.B. MINISTER – The Hon. Kwasi Thompson is pictured with OAS Assistant Secretary General (left) and OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro (right) while participating in a Small Business Development Center Study Tour, sponsored by the OAS in Washington D.C. on Friday past. Also pictured next to Minister Thompson, is Minister Lindsey Grant (St Lucia).

Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kwasi Thompson visited Washington D.C. this past Friday where he addressed participants in a Small Business Development Center Study Tour, sponsored by The Organization of American States.

Addressing participants from throughout the Caribbean, OAS officials and others, the Minister said he was pleased to represent The Bahamas at the event and that it was particularly important for him to see the implementation of the program in The Bahamas and especially on the island of Grand Bahama.

He told the assembly that the current administration is focused on small business assistance and that development of the program will help to fulfill that commitment.

Minister Thompson also recalled that it was only a few short months ago that The Bahamas signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the OAS to become part of the cooperation programme being offered through the United States Permanent Mission to the OAS in conjunction with the University of Texas in San Antonio.

“The Bahamas is an active member of the OAS in all areas and particularly in the affairs of the Secretariat for Integral Development,” he told the gathering.

Further, he informed that The Bahamas has a small and open economy, primarily driven by two sectors, tourism and financial services, with tourism being the dominant sector contributing better than 45% of the country’s gross domestic product.

The Grand Bahama Minister advised that while most economic activities are concentrated on the country’s most populated island, New Providence, that Grand Bahama, the second most populated island hosts one of the first free ports in the world, a special economic zone.

He also stressed that the island is home to one of the largest container shipping facilities on the eastern seaboard with the capacity to service approximately 1.5 million twenty-foot container units a year including the capacity to service 750 refrigerated units.

Also, that the island is home of the Grand Bahama Shipyard, one of the largest centers for dry-docking and afloat services for repairs, refit, refurbishment and revitalization.

The Minister also advised that our government recognizes that in order to accelerate the country’s economic growth, steps need to be taken to further develop an environment which focuses on competitiveness, ease of doing business and macroeconomic stability.

“My Government also recognizes that the growth and expansion of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises or MSMEs is key to the country’s growth success and we are creating an environment which encourages innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit of the people.

Read More here: The Bahamas Weekly