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Bahamas PM Says Caribbean Is 'Ripe For Investment'

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
15 September, 2015

The Prime Minister of The Bahamas described the Caribbean as 'ripe for investment' during his keynote remarks at the recent Caribbean Investment Summit in London.

The Caribbean region as a whole was touted as providing competitive advantages of accessibility, economic and political stability, adequate labor supply, modern infrastructure, robust investment incentive frameworks and trade facilitation. According to Prime Minister Perry Christie this has increased the opportunities for inward investment and promotional efforts in this direction are yielding good results. Foreign investors reportedly are now venturing in previously unexplored sectors, including natural resources, infrastructure, manufacturing, real estate, transport, telecommunications, energy, stem cell research and medical tourism.

The PM added that a substantial amount of foreign direct investment must continue to build on the traditional sectors where the Caribbean has a competitive advantage. These include tourism, financial services, business service outsourcing, fisheries and agro-processing. He maintained that the tourism sector and its niche industries will continue to be the engine of economic growth, employment, industry diversification and business improvement for most of the 40m citizens of the Caribbean.

Christie said: "The climate is indeed ripe for inward investment in the Caribbean which has re-doubled its efforts toward implementing energy and fiscal reforms, promotion of investment incentives, strengthening of compliance frameworks and continued redress of social ills in the wake of the global economic crisis."

"That is not to say that foreign investment alone will improve our fortunes, but I believe it will require a dedicated and ongoing process of private sector-led investment to build capacity and enterprise aimed at strengthening our domestic economies and creating a state of employment readiness across all sectors. It will also require substantial investment as public-private partnerships in infrastructure development and transportation to stimulate cross-border trade between countries."

The Bahamas has no income or corporation tax, no capital gains tax and no withholding tax. VAT was introduced at the beginning at this year at a rate of 7.5 percent.

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