Bahamas must be more competitive, says minister

KhaalisRolle-1Nassau, Bahamas — As the region considers competitiveness in light of new reports and new possibilities — and with the minister of tourism sounding similar themes — Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle told Guardian Business on Wednesday that The Bahamas is not competitive enough.

“What underpins our economy is tourism and one of the biggest concerns identified is that we’re not as competitive as we should be in the Caribbean,” Rolle said.

“We’re starting to see the Dominican Republic and Jamaica — for example — gain significant ground on us. We have to be concerned about that.”

Rolle said The Bahamas must examine its cost structure and look at doing things “a little differently”.

“We have to be a lot more competitive, otherwise we’re going to find ourselves in a position where regional and global players in the tourism industry will overtake us,” he said.

The minister said many of the issues that make The Bahamas uncompetitive have already been identified.

“The cost of doing business is extremely high. The pace of doing business is not as robust as it should be and when you look at the type of infrastructure we have to attract foreign direct investment, we still have some things we have to do differently,” he said.

“What we’ve done well is the incentive regime that we have in place, but more and more, [competitors] will look at what The Bahamas offers and move to offer a bit more.”

Rolle said the level of service, the human capital and everything involved in making The Bahamas an attractive place to do business “will have to improve”.

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