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GBPA & CHAMBER PARTNER FOR HOUSTON TRADE MISSION

Grand Bahama businesses now have an ally in the city of Houston, Texas, as executives of Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce (GHBCC), The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC), forged a partnership of collaboration and trade between the two.

This past week, GBCC President Kevin Seymour,  Derek Newbold, GBPA Sr. Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama (IGB) and  Mr. K. Peter Turnquest,  Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, and past GBCC President, traveled to Houston  for a trade mission hosted and  organized by GBHCC executive board and presiding Chairman,  Courtney Johnson-Rose.

According to Newbold, there is immense opportunity for collaboration between the two cities. “The cities of Houston and Freeport are very different with regard to population and trade, but there are also strong similarities,” he said. “We met with a number of young business professionals looking to expand their reach in key areas, all of which would add value and significant growth opportunities for Grand Bahama,” he continued.

Newbold added that the visiting delegation was hosted to a cadre of meetings focused on attracting interest in strategic segments of the island’s economy identified as high growth sectors, including Real Estate Development, Medical Tourism, Executive Education and numerous others.

GBCC President Kevin Seymour brought brief remarks introducing the 5 member delegation from Freeport during GHBCC’s bi-monthly meeting last Tuesday, with Derek Newbold making a compelling presentation, sparking interest in one-on-one meetings with prospective investors who gathered at the conventions room of McConnell Jones Lanier and Murphy LLC to learn more about investment opportunities in Freeport.

“The Group was extremely well received by the members of the GHBCC and there is genuine excitement and interest about Grand Bahama” Newbold expressed.  “Discussions have started, and plans are underway for an investor focused visit in late June followed by a trade mission next year.  As a team (GBPA , GBCC and Peter Turnquest), I felt we did an outstanding job promoting Grand Bahama and its value proposition. We are all very excited about the prospects,” he expressed.

Meetings organized for the Freeport group included the Texas Medical Center, The Houston Federal Reserve; Houston City Hall, Prairie View A&M University, MIG Steel Manufacturers, Port of Houston Authority, HARDAM Hotels Development & Investment Group, Industrial Welding Academy and numerous others. A meet/greet with Mayor Turner and numerous influential Houston business executives was also held on Thursday evening.

Ian Rolle, President of GBPA noted that all news regarding the Houston trade mission has been extremely encouraging. “I am told that our Grand Bahama delegation has participated in a number of very productive meetings,” said Rolle. “As the information unfolds, it is clear that there are opportunities for both short and long-term projects. This trade mission was highly informative and paves the way for increased collaboration between the GBPA, the Government of The Bahamas and the Grand Bahama business community,” commented Rolle. “This is a great example of stakeholders working together to create new opportunities for our island. Through public private-partnerships (PPP), we can empower our businesses, educate our people and bring real sustainable economic growth to the island of Grand Bahama.” Rolle concluded.

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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