UK/Bahamas trade improving, says British high commissioner

14 Mar 2024


UK TradeThe Bahamas-UK trade has jumped to 1.5 billion pounds

The UK and The Bahamas have improved their cross-border trade of late, thanks to interventions by the British High Commission. And now more and more UK companies are looking to The Bahamas to carry out projects or acquire products.

British High Commissioner Tom Hartley told Guardian Business that there is a company called Amey currently talking to the Cabinet about helping the Ministry of Works with projects in the country.

He said the company has built Olympic parks in London and the M4 highway in the UK.

Hartley said Amey is also interested in setting up an infrastructure fund to help with construction projects like the Glass Window Bridge on Eleuthera.

“This idea of bringing in British expertise in order to, over three to five years, transfer the expertise to the [construction] industry, is something Amey has done in Qatar, the UK is doing in Peru. So that’s a big one,” he said.

The Bahamas National Statistical Institute revealed recently that trade between The Bahamas and the UK has jumped to 1.5 billion pounds when trade in services is considered. According to Hartey, before now, the high point in trade between the two countries was somewhere in the $450 million pounds range.

“It’s leapfrogged The Bahamas to being top in the Caribbean ahead of Guyana, which is amazing,” said Hartley.

Bassett’s Rum is the first Bahamian rum to be distributed in the UK

“I think most of it seems to be in services, which I assume is tourism. But that’s great for the Bahamian economy and a great kind of vote of confidence in The Bahamas… and we hope that will continue.”

Hartley said the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) is now on the ground in Freeport, working on the airport project for Grand Bahama.

MAG has to have the Cabinet sign off on a new business plan for the airport, before it can move forward in earnest on the redevelopment of Grand Bahama’s international airport.

Hartley added that Aggreko, a UK company that has been adding power generation support to Bahamas Power and Light for years, has also bid for new contracts in The Bahamas to deliver solar energy to the Family Islands.

In August 2023, the British High Commission helped Bassett’s Rum, produced by Bahamas Distilling Company in Freeport, Grand Bahama, to become the first Bahamian rum to be distributed in the UK. That rum has been entered into the World Spirit Awards.

Source: Nassau Guardian