|PM says sound democracy good for economic future|
|Friday, 03 August 2012 07:02|
He was delivering the keynote address at the Grand Opening of the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank in the Southwest Shopping Plaza on Carmichael Road on Thursday, August 2, 2012.
Notwithstanding the economic challenges facing the country, he said he was optimistic by the level of confidence the chain of banks has placed in the Bahamian economy. He himself has been a client since the early 1970s.
The Prime Minister told bank officials, clients and invited guests assembled in front of the bank under a tent from the pouring rain, why he was optimistic about the country’s economic future.
“Firstly, We live in a very sound democracy. We have been able to demonstrate there is a culture of change that we have been able to change from political party to political party and the substance of our democracy remains intact,” he said.Secondly, he said in making the decision to locate in that part of New Providence known as ‘City 2000’, the bank has joined other banks in coming with a new level of customer service.
The Prime Minister said, however, that there is a magnificent story of The Bahamas that continues to unfold through the personalities at the bank who became leaders in the different fields of endeavour.And thirdly, he said that The Bahamas is a country, which continues to be challenged in two areas, crime and joblessness.
He said he was satisfied that the government is in the process of implementing that strategy that has been tested elsewhere, to curb the level of crime and that it is working today in New Providence.
With respect to doing business in this part of New Providence, the government has assured the police force of its commitment to saturation patrols -- that where there are people on this island there will be police.
“We are determined not to allow this lawlessness to exist at the rate it was going on in this country. We are not going to allow this to happen, we are determined to stop it and we think it will be well for the businesses in this part of the island,” the Prime Minister said.
He then referrenced joblessness, which he called an incubator for crime.
“There has to be a dedicated effort made to stimulate the economy and not necessarily by throwing taxpayers dollars at the simplistic job creations for one year. But by recognising that direct foreign investment is still available to us in this country, but we have to find a way to accommodate ourselves by our policies to that.”The Prime Minister said he had decided to look at old projects lying dormant for years and to meet with investors who expressed an interest in doing business in The Bahamas.
“Another reason why I am optimistic is there is every reason to believe that as we speak, meet, talk and discuss and continue to do those things we are becoming increasingly encouraged by the reality, that there are people in the world who see The Bahamas as a significant place to invest and that our job is to find them and ensure that the development is compatible with the best interests of The Bahamas and to release them to be able to do that work and as a result of that, create employment,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he was also happy that Bimini Bay project developer, Capo, partnered with a major casino operator toward making that island into one of the enviable destinations in the region.
“So you can see that their presence in Bimini is not an accidental one. There is some vision behind it that the by-product of Bimini will be is that it will ascend rapidly between now and the end of the year as we put our plan into it; creating what we have in some places like San Salvador full employment or over employment in a place like Bimini.
“We are very encouraged as we are working very hard to create the kind of environment and culture for institutions like CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank to prosper,” the Prime Minister said.
In The Bahamas, CIBC FirstCaribbean has 665 employees in 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.
Photo: Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie delivering the keynote address at the Grand Opening of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank in the Southwest Shopping Plaza on Carmichael Road on Thursday, August 2, 2012. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)
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