Categorized | National News

GB ready to play its role in Maritime sector, Darville says

FREEPORT – The island of Grand Bahama is ready to play its role in the maritime sector and ready to work hand and hand with other government agencies in accomplishing that goal, says the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama. Dr. Darville was on hand to welcome participants in the National Maritime Workshop, which officially go underway at the Our Lucaya Resort on February 5.

He told the gathering that located just 60 miles off the coast of South Florida, Grand Bahama is blessed geographically.

“It is certainly positioned to become a force to reckoned with in the maritime industry and is ready to play its role as a global player in logistics, ship repair and other related maritime fields,” he said.

Dr. Darville informed that Prime Minister Perry Gladstone Christie is fully committed to Grand Bahama and the growth and development of the maritime industry, which presently contributes an estimated 14 – 18 per cent of the gross domestic product of The Bahamas.

He told workshop participants that their theme for the seminar –improving the standard for the implementation and enforcement of the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) mandatory instructions — is both timely and appropriate in today’s global environment.

Dr. Darville stressed that it was also important that every member state meet, implement, enforce and abide by the rules and regulations put in place by the IMO in order to ensure that the highest standards of maritime safety are maintained. “I am convinced that Grand Bahamians are cognisant of the fact that we must continue to strive for excellence, constantly upgrade our skills, improve our standards while aggressively enforcing our maritime laws if we are going to be seen as a global player and capitalise on the economic benefits this lucrative industry has to offer.

“Recognising the significance of this important industry, in 2011 the College of The Bahamas Northern Campus partnered with Sunny Maritime University in New York to provide relevant degree programmes in the industry. “This new partnership, in my view, will continue to act as a catalyst to attract some of our brighter students to capitalise on these well paying career opportunities that currently exist in the maritime industry,” he stated Continuing, Dr. Darville said, “We realise that our strategic location, our state of the art infrastructure and harbour, which is one of the largest man made harbours in the world and certainly the deepest in the region makes Grand Bahama and by extension the entire country a competitive force in the region and will continue to attract direct foreign investment in container transshipment, logistics, ship repair and other related maritime fields for years to come.

“Let me assure all of you that the Ministry for Grand Bahama is ready and fully committed to work hand and hand with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the Bahamas Maritime Authority to capitalise on all that this industry has to offer while we strive for excellence through training and creative employment incentives,” Dr. Darville said. The three-day workshop, which is being held at the Our Lucaya Resort and concludes on Friday, is being sponsored by the International Maritime Organisation and the Bahamas Maritime Authority.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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