PM Promises Economic Development For Bimini
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Prime Minister Perry Christie has promised residents of Bimini that their island stands to reap economic benefits from the number of developments coming on stream.
He made the statement during the unveiling of a Bust of the late United States Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who made Bimini his place of solace and wrote two of his most notable speeches — the Nobel Peace Prize and sanitation workers speech in 1964 and 1968, respectively.
The unveiling ceremony was held Saturday, October 6, 2012, at the craft centre in Alice Town, where the Prime Minister also spoke of economic developments on tap for Bimini, known as “The Gateway to The Bahamas”.
“Today, the people of Bimini stand on the verge of unparalleled development and new economic opportunities, which will offer tremendous employment and entrepreneurial opportunities and to make this one of the best little islands in the world,” the Prime Minister said.
He was referring to the Resorts World Bimini Bahamas, multi-million dollar gaming facility set to open in North Bimini in the first quarter of 2013; amongst other developments. The casino is being built through a partnership between RAV Bahamas Limited, developer of Bimini Bay Resort & Marina and Rockwell Island Beach Estates and Genting Malaysia Berhad.
Following a tour of the construction site he said, “I have expressed to the developers and urge upon you today, that this development must be integrated and embrace the distinct culture, unique features and local character of the community, and preserve the environment for enjoyment by future generations.
“But we expect for this to have a major impact on the island.”
Genting and Bimini Bay developer Gerado Capo have agreed to the joint venture of the casino at where an estimated 200 people will be employed on the floor. Other job opportunities will be come about by way of self-employment.
“Because of the commitment of the developers, the Government of The Bahamas currently is giving consideration to major expansion on the island. So that is the spirit and the commitment, which we are now working on government and developer,” the Prime Minister said.
He foreshadowed a new ferryboat-landing site where more visitors can come into the island on larger ships. The runway will be extended to accommodate more flights and the apron expanded to house more planes,
“So, as a result of the expansion, even more jobs will be created. The developers are also interested in working with the community, not only to ensure residents have access to training programmes that will make them fit and proper employees but also to give people with entrepreneurial instincts the opportunities to set up businesses for themselves. The Government is very interested in that,” the Prime Minister said.
“I don’t want you to look through the window and see those opportunities pass you by. I want you in the room and sharing in the development in a very meaningful way,” he told residents.
Also with the development comes the need for housing, which means that planning is underway to make land and the necessary infrastructure available for housing, not necessarily in the North but in South Bimini where the airport is located.
“The planning has to be coordinated into what we are prepared to do in March when the casino is set for completion,” the Prime Minister said.
In this vein, the government is giving consideration, due to the financial constraints it is working under, to offset future taxes that usually comes with the granting of casino licenses.
“Active consideration is underway now to ensure that the government and the developers are totally prepared, working together in the right way to bring about that kind of development,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he anticipates this is going to be an outstanding development “because we are going to involve immediately, the people of the island in a beautification programme with sidewalks, painting of buildings, to ensure that the way of moving people about is significantly improved.”
“What I expect therefore, is that there is going to be full employment here in Bimini and once we do that the right way there is going to be a great deal of comfort for the people as a result of what is going to take place here,” the Prime Minister said.
By Lindsay Thompson
Bahamas Information Services
Caption: Prime Minister Perry Christie and members of his Cabinet tour the construction site of the Resorts World Bimini Bahamas, multi-million dollar casino facility set to open in North Bimini in the first quarter of 2013. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)construction, development, economy, islands