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Photographed at the City Club of Chicago this week are from left: Mr. Leon Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister; Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Emanuel Welch, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives; Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis; His Excellency Wendall Jones, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States; and Mr. Michael Fountain, Honorary Consul for Chicago.

A Stable And Receptive Environment

Promoting The Bahamas before a large number of Chicago business leaders on Monday, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Philip Davis said “our beautiful archipelago is a stable and receptive environment for doing business — one that is getting better every day.”

In his remarks at the City Club of Chicago Mr. Davis said over the last two years his administration enjoyed tremendous success with investors, setting the stage for sustainable growth and prosperity.

“Our resilience and our ability to weather external shocks have helped to persuade investors to see us as a safe harbour for investments.

“We are focused on making strategic investments that grow and diversify our economy, while continuing to strengthen our country’s fiscal health,” said the Prime Minister.  He told his audience that the Bahamian economy has recovered at a healthy rate since the pandemic with real GDP growth of 14.4 per cent in 2022 and 17.0 per cent in 2021, outperforming regional peers.

He said, “by all indications, we are projected to continue to see GDP growth for the foreseeable future. We are not sitting still either, — we are revamping domestic and foreign direct investment policies to ensure a supportive environment. We are improving both internal systems and external ones to ensure we have the most productive and efficient practices,” said Mr. Davis.
The Prime Minister reminded the business leaders that The Bahamas is a tax-neutral jurisdiction that openly welcomes investors whose vision for their businesses aligns with our labour market and economic needs.

“While we are considered a tax-neutral or low tax region, which can be an appealing prospect for investors, our international record of compliance with international transparency and accountability standards is stellar. In fact, in December 2022, we became only the sixth nation in the world to become largely compliant with the Financial Action Task Force’s 40 recommendations related to compliance with anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and transparency standards.

“Our resilient external position is bolstered by the second highest level of foreign exchange reserves among our regional peers, and our national debt management strategies are working –government deficits are on a downward trajectory,” he said.

Mr. Davis asserted, “in essence, when you invest in our safe harbour, you can be sure you are investing in a stable environment with responsible government practices that will give your investments the opportunity to thrive unimpeded. From a (Tourism) industry perspective, we are primed for continued expansion.

“We have built on our standing as a regional leader in tourism over the past two years with year-over-year increases of 233 per cent between 2021 and 2022, and over five million tourist arrivals in the first half of 2023.

“We’ve focused investments on increasing air arrivals throughout our islands and improving our core experiences through new cruise port facilities. We are on track for record breaking year, even as we are investing in new initiatives for future growth.

“Moving forward, we are working to attract major tourism investments, especially on our less populated Family Islands, each of which offer its own local and very special version of truly idyllic paradise. We’re building new airports across our islands and building on progress in attracting eco-tourism resorts and experiences, as well as sports and cultural tourism opportunities.

“Our financial sector continues to provide a strong foundation for economic stability and investments, with assets representing about 164 percent of GDP in 2022, “said the Prime Minister.

He told his audience, “The Bahamas is rich with opportunities in a diverse range of sectors, and the list of emerging opportunities grows every day. Our commitment to sustainable practices, economic growth, and good governance makes us an ideal partner for investments.”

The Prime Minister was accompanied to Chicago by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell; Bahamas Ambassador to the United States, Wendall Jones; and Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Leon Lundy.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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