Author: Bahamas Information Services

Bahamas Receives $612,000 Grant From Japan To Improve “Revenue Collection” with emphasis on “Tax Administration”

State Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Zhivargo Laing, and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) representative Astrid H. Wynter have signed a $612,000 technical co-operation grant to support strengthening The Bahamas’ fiscal policy. The resources were provided by the Japan Special Fund to the IDB. Japanese Ambassador to the Bahamas, Jamaica and Belize, Hiroshi Yamaguchi also signed the documents. The government’s contribution to the project is $153,000. Minister Laing noted that as a general rule The Bahamas “has maintained a record of good economic performance having a high per capita income which is attributed to our sound management of the economy, our political stability, and our close proximity to the USA.” Over the last twenty years, he said, The Bahamas has had an average growth rate of about 1.3 per cent with a strong spurt that took place between 1993 and 1999. The 2008/’09 recession “which led to the worse global economic and financial recession since the great depression, significantly and negatively affected our economy with a contraction of some 5.4 per cent in 2009 alone, a contraction which led to critical tax generating tax sectors of our economy being badly affected,” said Mr Laing. As an example, in 2009 the hotel room expenditure and imports of merchandise dropped by 21 per cent each, “and all of this would have significantly and negatively impacted our revenue collection. “This negative impact...

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PM Statement on Grand Bahama Economy and GBPA

Grand Bahama Press Conference Media Query Response THE PRIME MINISTER: I had a very good chat with Sir Jack Hayward and I am of the view that Sir Jack is going to be cooperative with the Government. The Government will be cooperative with him and the Port Authority. They have some plans that they will announce in due course themselves that we will be supportive of. As Minister Zhivargo Laing had indicated before, we are willing to do specific investment promotions for Grand Bahama, and we made a half million dollars available from the government and asked the business community and the Port in Grand Bahama to match us and we would take Freeport on the road. Freeport has great facilities for attracting investments. Question: Status of Royal Oasis Resort/Harcourt Development Group? THE PRIME MINISTER: Harcourt is in the same position that GINN was in West Grand Bahama and that is the recession has affected them and their ability to raise money from banks and their ability to fund any development. There is no answer to be given as to when they will get money or when they will find a buyer – that is one of the consequences of this great recession that took place. Some people in my country seem to think that such a thing does not exist; but it exists all over the world and...

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Prime Minister’s Statement on Atlantis Resort & Recent Developments With Brookfield

Transcript: Grand Bahama Press Conference Media Query Response THE PRIME MINISTER: You know, when I came to office in 1992 Resorts International on Paradise Island was in bankruptcy. We did not panic in The Bahamas at that time. When Kerzner came in he bought it out of bankruptcy; meaning that they couldn’t pay all of their debts and they went into bankruptcy. Kerzner International now has a loan for $2.3 billion and the security for the loan is the properties on Paradise Island. Much of the loan money was spent outside The Bahamas. It was inappropriate and wrong for the Government of The Bahamas (Christie administration) to agree for the properties on Paradise Island to be put up as a security for a loan where the proceeds of the loan were going to be spent outside The Bahamas. That was a big, big mistake. Kerzner International has been unable to service this loan. There are seven lenders – Brookfield is one of the seven lenders. Brookfield was able to get the support of four of the remaining six lenders for the activities which it wanted to undertake which were to acquire Mr. Kerzner’s interest in the hotel and for the lender to become the owner of the property. Two of the lenders who are owed $112 million out of $2.3 billion went to court in Delaware and argued that...

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New Stamps That Depict Bahamas Marine Life

Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas Postal Service released a new Definitive Stamp series today (Jan. 3, 2012) that depicts the marine life of The Bahamas in a 16 stamp series. The new issue will remain on the market until the year 2017. The stamps range in price from five to 80 cents and from one to 10 dollars. The series features the following: Common sea fan, Christmas tree worm, Elkhorn coral, Cushion sea star, Queen conch, Hawksbill turtle, Green moray eel, Bonefish, Spider Crab, Caribbean spiny lobster, Nassau grouper, Yellowtail snapper, Great barracuda, Spotted eagle ray, Caribbean reef shark and Bottlenose dolphin. The Queen conch is a main ingredient in many Bahamian dishes. It is of economic, social and cultural importance to The Bahamas. Sea Stars are commonly referred to as starfish due to their shape. They belong to a group of invertebrates called echinoderms which also include sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sand dollars. The Christmas tree worm is a marine tube-dwelling worm named for its brightly coloured, spiral shaped ‘Christmas-tree like’ tentacles. Sea fans are fan-shaped soft corals which are made up of tiny colonial animals called polyps. Sea fans attach themselves to reef  surfaces so that they lie across the current. Coral reefs are primarily constructed by living animals called coral polyps which build the largest biological structures on earth. The Hawksbill turtle is a gentle...

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Prime Minister’s Remarks – Teacher’s Aide Programme Launch

I am, pleased to join you this morning to launch the Teachers’ Aides Programme which is designed to support the government-operated school system in a meaningful way over the next 52 weeks. I congratulate the more than 300 individuals selected to participate in this important segment of the National Job Preparedness and Readiness Programme. As you are aware, my Government undertook this National Jobs Preparedness initiative with a view to firstly create jobs in the short term and, secondly, over the longer term, to train additional individuals in our labour pool, better positioning participants to become gainfully employed in the months and years ahead. I am especially satisfied with the number of individuals who have responded to this jobs readiness initiative and who are taking advantage of the employment and training opportunities arising from the programme. I am told that you have undergone an intensive training programme in preparation for the task before you. Some the topics addressed included: – Work Ethics -What is expected of you – Personal Attitudes – Reliability – Social Responsibility – The mission of Education and your role in its delivery I trust that you will not lose sight of your training once you enter the doors of our schools and libraries and other educational workplaces. Participants: In your new positions as Teachers’ Aides, you will become an important link in the chain which...

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