The Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham
Prime Minister of The Bahamas

In a recent public address Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham stated that the policies of the Bahamas Government have resulted in a substantial broadening of the Bahamian economic base. Along with the deepening of the tourism sector, there has been the addition of other important growth services, including transshipment and shipcare operations.

The Prime Minister said indications of the increase in the size and strength of the Bahamian economy over the last 9 years can be found in the increase in the country’s international reserves by $200 million, a doubling of the money supply from $1.7 billion to $3.5 billion, and a doubling of Government revenue from $550 million to more than $1 billion.

Specifically, carefully considered policies have lead to the following:

*Nearly $2b in direct foreign investment;
*The highest percentage of Bahamians ever employed;
*A reduction in unemployment from an acknowledged 14.8% in 1992, to under 7% today, the lowest level in over three decades;
*The creation of more than 29,000 jobs;
*An explosion in the number of Bahamian-owned companies;
*A substantial increase in personal, family and household incomes;
*A reduction in the rate of increase in Government borrowing;
*A construction boom;
*An increase in tourist expenditure;
*The rebirth of the Freeport economy;
*The completion of the electrification and the elimination of pothole filled roads in all inhabited Family Island communities;
*A substantial increase in home ownership, lower mortgage payments for home-owners and businesses – indeed, the lowest home and business loan interest rates in years;
*The greatest increase in entrepreneurial opportunities and small business growth, ever;
*Increased ad improved public services; and
*Substantial improvement in the standard of living for all

With specific regard to international financial services, Prime Minister Ingraham indicated that The Bahamas’ response to challenges to its financial services sector by the FATF and the OECD is proving “to have been the right medicine and we have every expectation that the sector will emerge, delisted, stronger, more vibrant, and healthier than it has ever been.”