Categorized | National News

Gov’t To Establish Business Plan To Attract Investors

State Minister for Investments Khaalis Rolle said this week that his ministry has begun to take the necessary steps to attract investments in hopes of reviving the lackluster economy.

While speaking with Journal Business this week, Mr. Rolle admitted that his ministry, which is a new one under the Christie administration, has its work cut out for it.

“We have a lot of work to do in this country and my ministry is very excited to execute the task that is a head of us,” he said.

But Mr. Rolle has an advantage.

Prior to entering politics, Mr. Rolle has been known as a heavyweight in the private sector as he served as president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce.

“It certainly does because it gives me both perspectives now. Sometimes you have this mentality that occurs and because of that you are not able to make as much progress as you would like,” he said.

“One of the first things I said to the staff at the meeting is that we are going to try to navigate the bureaucratic maze. We are going to keep that at a minimum and we are going to keep politics out of the decision making. We have a lot of work to do and my staff is excited about doing that work and they are excited that somebody that understands and where this thing needs to go is now at the helm of that ministry.”

In Mr. Rolle’s opinion, the level of foreign direct investment in The Bahamas over the last five years has been minimal at best.

He said that to turn the economy around you have to get the investing community – both the international and the domestic excited about the future. 

“I have been getting calls from day one when it was announced that I would head that ministry from local and foreign investors who are excited now that The Bahamas has been reopened for business,” the minister said.

“The very first thing that we are going to do is establish a business plan for that community. I think it is important that people understand exactly what the criteria for that is, understand exactly what the incentives are and they understand what the process is. Even though it is outlined, there’s been from the execution standpoint, a lot of headaches. Foreign and local investors have been complaining that the process is not as transparent and open as laid out in black and white. So we want to marry what’s been written in black and white to the operation and execution side of the ministry.”

United Nations’ (UN) Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recently revealed that foreign director investment (FDI) inflows into The Bahamas had increased by 45 per cent year-over-year for the first nine months of 2011.

Central Bank officials said FDI inflows into The Bahamas increased by “about one-third” in 2011 to hit $1.533 billion.

The bank said the increase was predominately due to the multi-billion dollar Baha Mar project.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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