(Nassau, The Bahamas) The implementation of the Commercial Enterprises Act will assist Bahamians at home “and in the Diaspora abroad” in the creation, and development, of small and medium-sized businesses, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said Thursday.
The Act was passed in the House of Assembly on November 22, 2017 and in the Senate on December 4, 2017.
Delivering the keynote address during the Opening Session of the 27th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook Seminar, Prime Minister Minnis said the Act will encourage both domestic and foreign investment in The Bahamas, while allowing for the creation of certain economic zones where deemed necessary throughout the country.
The Prime Minister said the Act will help to encourage investment in The Bahamas, and places a high level of prioritization on Bahamian labour and talent.
The Act targets specialized businesses in Captive Insurance, Nanotechnology, Computer Technology, Software Design, Data Storage, Maritime Trade, Aviation Registration, Wealth Management and Manufacturing Enterprises.
“We must utilize our strategic assets and comparative advantages to create more Bahamian entrepreneurs even as we seek international investors and partners from North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and the Pacific,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
“Small and medium-sized Bahamian businesses are a critical part of our economy. These businesses employ thousands of Bahamians. They are critical for economic growth.”
Prime Minister Minnis said to further promote the ease of Doing Business for such enterprises, the Government of The Bahamas – after consultation with the Central Bank of The Bahamas – in the final quarter of 2017, announced the relaxation of Exchange Controls on capital transactions, namely on capital (investment) and current account (trade) transactions. The changes come into effect as of February 1, 2018.
“This reform was long overdue,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
By Matt Maura
Bahamas Information Services