Speaking at the Northeast Florida International Summit 2002 yesterday in Jacksonville, Florida the U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas characterised the country as being *”easily the most prosperous in the Caribbean”.*

Amb. J. Richard Blankenship was the keynote speaker at the Summit, presenting on the topic *”Economic Investment Opportunities in The Bahamas”.* He described the economy of The Bahamas as strong and vibrant, with its high per capita income making it one of the largest markets for American products in the Caribbean region.

Participants at the Summit represented business and legal professionals, and law students.

Estimates are that The Bahamas spends more than $1 billion annually in the United States and another $710 million on imports from the U.S. Amb. Blankenship pointed out that more than 80% of everything consumed in the Bahamas comes from the United States.

It is an objective of the Ambassador to foster even closer economic and business ties between the United States and The Bahamas, and while in Florida he plans to promote bilateral commercial opportunities during speaking engagements in Miami, Orlando and Tampa as well.