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CICMC Delegates Learn the Value of Grand Bahama’s Free Trade Zone

Member delegates at the 2015 conference of Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants (CICMC), heard firsthand the benefits of Grand Bahama’s Free Trade Zone (FTZ) for regional and international investors. The 3-day annual symposium took place in the nation’s capital October 16th - 18th, bringing together dozens of CICMC members and delegates from neighboring Caribbean jurisdictions.

Sr. Manager of Business Development for The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), Derek Newbold, expressed that the forum, appropriately  themed “Partnerships-Performance-Profits: Keys to Business Successes” was an excellent opportunity to share the benefits of The Bahamas’ FTZ and its advantages.

“The city of Freeport was featured as a Free Trade Zone case study and I believe that every delegate present was astonished to learn of Freeport’s contribution to the economic development of The Bahamas,” stated Newbold.

“Freeport offers significant benefits which neighboring destinations can capitalize on. Unfortunately, as we often see each other through the lens of ‘a competing destination’, our contributing benefits may be overlooked. My lecture, ‘Freeport, Grand Bahama: Destination Ally’ sought to address these points, and highlight Freeport’s value to the region, from a logistics perspective,” Newbold continued.

Delegates heard from a variety of speakers throughout the symposium, covering a myriad of topics essential to increased collaboration, support and regional integration. The Hon. Michael Halkitis, MP and Minister of State for Finance gave the keynote address during the event.

GBPA President, Ian Rolle noted that the CICMC symposium brought very timely discussions to the forefront. “The Caribbean community is very diverse, yet we all share similar economic challenges,” cited Rolle. 

Freeport’s proximity to the US market in the north, combined with its infrastructure and other competitive advantages, could be leveraged by our Caribbean neighbours for hub and spoke transshipment collaborations in addition to nearshore distribution.” Rolle continued.

He added that while strengthening regional collaboration is a key step forward, it must be complimented by the networking of professionals, with a common vision of facilitating access to new markets and building capacity on a regional level. This Rolle said, would greatly empower each destination’s ability to attract significant investment projects.

ABOUT GBPA


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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THE WAY FORWARD


Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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