Categorized | National News

PM Says Diversification Will Grow Economy

Combatting the recent backlash surrounding the passing of the Commercial Enterprises Brill, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has said diversification will grow the economy.

In a statement released yesterday Dr. Minnis said the Commercial Enterprises Bill is designed to attract both local and international investment to The Bahamas in job sectors that do not currently or primarily exist.

“The bill is aimed at targeting investment in specified enterprises including captive insurance, reinsurance, arbitration, wealth management, computer programming, maritime trade, nano technology, biomedical industries, data storage, call centers and software design and writing. No other kind of business enterprise will qualify for incentives provided for under this bill

“Industries taking advantages of this bill will be required to establish training programs for  Bahamians and agree to strict time lines for the upward mobility of Bahamians within the enterprise. Limits will also be placed on immigration permits which are issued under the provisions of this bill.  The long-term objective is to ensure that all positions within these companies become available to Bahamians as and when they are trained.

“One thing this bill does not do,  is change the current immigration or other regulatory processes for anyone wishing to invest in businesses other than those designated industries that are covered under this new proposed legislation.

“We are making substantial investments in our education system to ensure that our children receive the best education possible by attending accredited colleges and universities worldwide. We must therefore grow the economy and expand employment opportunities so that our students will find higher paying jobs with long term job security.  It is therefore time for the nay-sayers to stop saying no and start working on behalf of the Bahamian people,” Dr. Minnis said.

The  Prime Minister  added that creating better paying jobs that provide long term job security in new industries will motivate our young people to stay at home, which in turn will help the country grow and prosper.

The bill passed the House of Assembly with unanimous support from the Free National Movement last week Wednesday and is headed to the Senate.

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell subsequently accused the government of attempting to “flood the country with workers from outside the country and undercut the market for young Bahamians” with the introduction of the Commercial Enterprises Bill.

The bill would liberalise the granting of work permits to enterprises that wish to establish themselves in the Bahamas in niche sectors and require work permits for management and key personnel.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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