Bahamas Preparing To Join WTO
With The Bahamas preparing to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade economist Hank Ferguson says that the country needs to be prepared for how it will be impacted.
“We are joining. Your responsibility at this point is to figure out what is the implication on your business? What is the implication for Grand Bahama?” Ferguson pointed out.
He added that in 1995 every Caribbean country joined the WTO, but The Bahamas was slow to act and we are now the only country in the western hemisphere that is not a member of the 153 member strong organization.
“They joined for free, they got the benefit of technical assistance and they had requisite supports to deal with the adjustments to a freer trade environment,” Ferguson noted.
The Bahamas on the other hand because of its reluctance to join the organization was left to fend for itself when the country was blacklisted several years back leaving the prime minister scrambling from country to country in attempts to secure a meeting to have the situation rectified.
“We didn’t belong to any forum that gave him access to the full OECD,” Ferguson said.
However, he added that the prime minister of Barbados which was also blacklisted was able to call the country’s representative in Geneva to meet with the necessary bodies to handle the matter because they were a part of an organized forum.
Ferguson said The Bahamas stands to benefit from joining the organization which is grounded behind the principals of free trade.caribbean, economy, trade