In his annual speech to the nation Bahamas Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham pointed to targeted efforts toward securing and growing financial services and a new investment promotion thrust as two of several Government initiatives that are expected to create economic benefits for the country.
*“A number of large international companies are opening corporate headquarters, sales offices and training facilities in The Bahamas,”* the Prime Minister reported. *“Most notably, the exclusive Swiss watchmaker Rolex (Caribbean) has received approval to locate its watch making and repair training centre in New Providence; Oldcastle Building Products (Caribbean) was approved to operate its sales office for the region and North America from New Providence, and Brimac Environmental Group received approval to transfer its corporate headquarters to The Bahamas.”*
The Prime Minister said work on the $275 million Phase I redevelopment of the Lynden Pindling International Airport is continuing on schedule for a 2011 opening of the new US Departure Terminal.
The developments outlined by the Prime Minister are consistent with the strategic plan for the financial services industry, which includes infrastructural developments.
The Prime Minister also noted that a dedicated Commercial Court will be located in the Bank Lane area of downtown Nassau, part of a programme to increase Supreme Court rooms and to further improve work conditions in the judicial service.
Earlier at the official opening of the 2010 legal year, Attorney General Sen. the Hon. John Delaney said the Government will re-double its efforts to support the administration of justice in the country. He said the Office of the Attorney General will re-order and re-align resources to strengthen and enhance its efficiency and output, and that law reform initiatives will continue and be expanded.
The Prime Minister said he expects that as the US economy begins to grow there will be improvement in the second-home market while investments in other segments of the Bahamian economy are showing positive signs.
*“We also expect additional benefits to come to our economy from other initiatives being undertaken by the Government,”* the Prime Minister said. *“These include a more refined and diversified tourism initiative aimed at today’s more discerning international travelers and modernisation of our fiscal regime for enhanced efficiency and business facilitation.”*
While foreign direct investment flows into The Bahamas have declined, the Prime Minister said there are new signs that several of the tourism related developments which stalled because of the global recession and international financial crisis are preparing to move forward this year.