Minister Darville says GB economic growth will take a combined effort

Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville believes in a tripartite agreement for economic growth and development for the island of Grand Bahama – which is inclusive of the Government, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce.

Minister Darville stressed that point again as he welcomed newly-appointed executives of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, who paid a courtesy call on the Minister Thursday morning at the Ministry for Grand Bahama.

Representing the Chamber at the meeting were Michael Holding (President), Daniel Romence (1st Vice-President), Lawrence Palmer (2nd Vice-President), Mercynth Ferguson (Executive Director), Karin Sanchez (Secretary) and Ralph Hepburn (Treasurer).

During their meeting, Minister Darville reminded the Chamber Board Executives of the newly-launched Grand Bahama Investment Incentive Bill, which came about in 2016. He said that it was a landmark Bill and he looks forward to going through the intricate aspects of the Bill with members of the Chamber, in particular the regulatory framework of the Legislation.

“We would also like to update you of our progress with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and Hutchison for the establishment of the One-Stop Shop and much needed Immigration Reform,” said Minister Darville.

“Immigration Reform is a key element for the establishment and effective operation of the One-Stop Shop, which will take place through my Ministry. Much of the work that takes place in this Ministry is foundational work, which many people cannot appreciate at this time.  “But very shortly they will see the extent of work which was done to lay a new paradigm shift in order to get the Free trade zone up and going and the modifications that are necessary to make it more savvy and more competitive.”

Minister Darville said that his Ministry has been working very closely with the Grand Bahama Port Authority for the establishment of the One-Stop Shop, which will ultimately be the template for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, in order to improve the ease of doing business in our jurisdiction.

However, in order to make any of it work, Minister Darville told Chamber Executives that there must be the task of locating the strengths of the government, the Port Authority as well as the strengths of the GB Chamber of Commerce.

“Our job is really to combine the strengths that come from each organization through the tripartite agreement and structure the One-Stop Shop in a way that will be effective and that will attract the type of businesses that will further strengthen the economy.

“You (the Chamber) will be a part of these discussions as we finalize the details for our One-Stop Shop business model.”

In fact, Minister Darville pointed out the fact that one of the reasons the Grand Bahama Ministry was formed was to establish the One-Stop Shop in Grand Bahama — thus, he and employees of the Ministry of Grand Bahama have been working diligently to accomplish their goals.

“We have something really, really super that we have come up with and we are about to introduce it to the Chamber for your input,” added Minister Darville.

“We want wide consultation across the business sector because ultimately the goal is to improve the ease of doing business and to take us to a higher level.”

President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Michael Holding said that the Chamber looks forward to working closely with the Ministry of Grand Bahama as well as with all other government agencies.

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