Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie delivered the keynote address at the official opening yesterday of a [CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank]( branch in the Southwest Shopping Plaza on Carmichael Road. And, took the opportunity express encouragement over the jurisdiction’s economic future.

Predicting an economic turnaround notwithstanding the economic challenges facing the country, he said he was optimistic about the future of the economy. *“We live in a very sound democracy. We have been able to demonstrate that there is a culture of change, that we have been able to change from political party to political party and that the substance of our democracy remains intact,”* he said.

The Prime Minister affirmed that there has to be a dedicated effort made in continuing to stimulate the economy, pointing to direct foreign investment still available to The Bahamas. He said *“…We have to find a way to accommodate ourselves by our policies to that.”* Noting that his optimism about the economy is based on and encouraged by the reality that there are people in the world who see The Bahamas as a significant place to invest, he continued *“We are very encouraged as we are working very hard to
create the kind of environment and culture in which institutions like CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank can prosper.”*

In The Bahamas, CIBC FirstCaribbean has 665 employees in now 14 branches in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and Abaco. There are also satellite branches in Green Turtle Cay, Man-o-War Cay and Hope Town, Abaco. Managing Director, Marie Rodland-Allen, says it was “imperative” that the bank have a presence in the new community, what with the proliferation of small businesses and retail outlets in the Carmichael Road area, *“The Carmichael road area is probably the fastest growing area, not just in New Providence but probably in any other community across The Bahamas.”* Some 18 persons will be employed at the state-of-the-art Carmichael Road branch, which boasts the latest technology and equipment.

A major Caribbean bank offering a full range of market-leading financial services in Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Wealth Management, Credit Cards, Treasury Sales and Trading, and Investment Banking, [CIBC FirstCaribbean]( is the largest, regionally-listed bank in the English-speaking Caribbean. It has assets of over US$10.9 billion and market capitalisation of US$2.5 billion; over 3,400 staff; 66 branches, 22 banking centres, and seven offices in 17 regional markets, serving 550,000 active accounts. The Bank was formed in 2002 with the merger of CIBC West Indies Holdings and Barclays Bank PLC Caribbean operations under the name FirstCaribbean.