Electronic Trade Portal To Be Launched By Ministry of Financial Services

The Ministry of Financial Services conducted an information session on The Bahamas’ Trade Information Service Desk and Electronic Portal at SuperClubs Breezes on January 18, 2017.  The official launch of the trade portal is tentatively scheduled for early March 2017.  The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) sponsored the event.

Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. Hope Strachan was in attendance. She told attendees that the portal was of great importance to the country and assured the audience — which comprised mainly members of the business community – of the government’s commitment to diversifying the economy and expanding trade.

The establishment of the Trade Portal is a part of the government’s ongoing efforts to diversify the economy by expanding trade with regional, hemispheric and international trading partners. Currently a Bahamian entrepreneur seeking to export his or her product to a foreign market will have to sift through an excessive amount of information to find reliable trade information on how to export that product. This, I am sure you would agree, makes doing business with The Bahamas unnecessarily difficult and expensive.”

She said that grant funding has been provided by the European Union through the technical assistance component of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, and subsequent to an international bidding process, the International Trade Centre (a specialized joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations) was retained to provide the services to design and develop a Trade Portal in mid-2016.

“The intention of this Trade Portal is to create a “one-stop-shop” to access important national, regional and international trade information such as export/import statistics, information on trade regulations – such as quality requirements and standards, certification requirements and rules of origin – as well as shipping information, company profiles and key information on trade agreements,” said Minister Strachan.

The Portal will serve as an important business facilitation tool by reducing the cost and time required to access trade information, and in turn improve the ease of doing business in The Bahamas.

Mr. Joost van der Kooij, the lead Technical Consultant of the Dutch company Globally Cool, is working along with the International Trade Centre in the development of the Trade Portal.

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