Categorized | Featured, National News

DPM Wants New Investment in Agriculture

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Chester Cooper

Journal Staff Writer

With the second annual Caribbean Investment Forum continuing in the capital, Deputy Prime
Minister Chester Cooper said following this forum, he hopes for new investment in The
Bahamas’ agricultural sector as the country continues to strive for a reduction in its food import
“This event is big on technology, Agritech, Fintech, [and] ICT. It’s also big on renewable energy
and of course agriculture. There’s a big imperative in CARICOM to reduce food imports to the
Caribbean, 25 percent by the year 2025. And The Bahamas and the new Minister for Agriculture,
Jomo Campbell and the former minister Clay Sweeting have plans to get to this 25 percent
reduction in food imports by the year 2025, but we will need some new investments in
agriculture. This is an opportunity to get best practice from our colleagues to have taught
leadership in these various areas, but more importantly, to attract investments to The Bahamas
and to the Caribbean,” he said on Monday.
Over 500 attendees from 40 countries along with 45 institutional investors are currently in
country with the aim to share, learn, prepare and finalize business and investment deals that
support regional transformation to a bold new Caribbean.
Deputy Prime Minister Cooper also addressed the issue of visitors having to take connecting
flights to get to The Bahamas.
He said it is an age-old problem, but conversations have begun to solve this issue.
“If we are going to do more business and if we are going to improve what we have been talking
about of multi-destination tourism, this is an area that we must resolve. So, we have begun some
conversations through the Carib-tourism organization. I’ve been leading some of these
conversations with vice chairman of CARICOM, but it has to be a business to business. This
cannot just be idealism. So Bahamasair must talk to Caribbean Airlines, must talk to Caman
Airways and all of the Caribbean air carriers to ensure that we’re bringing them all together to
create co-share airline agreements and collaborate on some of these important routes,” Deputy
Prime Minister Cooper said.
He added that shipping gates must also be opened for easier trade between the countries.
“If we’re going to move agricultural goods and products from Haiti to Bahamas or Guyana to the
Bahamas, or if we’re going to get poultry from Jamaica to The Bahamas, we must open the
shipping gates. And all of these problems spells opportunity and I hope that Bahamian business
or Caribbean business that recognize that in all of these issues we face and all of the challenges

that confront us, there’s opportunity for business. There’s opportunity for investments and there’s
significant opportunity for profit,” he said.
DPM Cooper said he is excited for the outcome of this forum and the opportunities that will
come out of this productive week.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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