Push For Land, Foreign Currency Borrowing Reforms


A private sector grouping is pushing the Government to create a land registration system and enable Bahamians to borrow in foreign currency, a private sector grouping suggesting these would be key upgrades to the business environment.
Seven key areas that should be targeted to improve the country’s competitiveness have been specified by The Bahamas’ chapter of the Caribbean Growth Forum, via its Investment Climate Working Group.
The seven areas have long been identified as needing improvement but the key is whether the Working Group can create enough impetus for the relevant government ministries and agencies to make the change.
The open, transparent nature of the CGF processes is designed to ensure their recommendations cannot simply be buried after they are presented to the Government.
The report read: “In the Bahamas, land administration is based on the old common law deeds recording system. In a deeds system a title is not guaranteed, and this has generated a tremendous degree of uncertainty in the Bahamian property market.
“Proof of title and ownership in the Bahamas continues to be highly problematic. For example, the unauthorised home demolitions experienced of late and the unclear titles in generational land, which sometimes involves foreigners.”
“Under a title system there is a guarantee of indemnity (security) regarding who owns each registered parcel of land,” the report said.
“This guarantee enhances a property’s marketability. For instance, title properties are generally not vulnerable to claims of adverse possession – a risk that still exists under a Deeds Register.
“Ensuring formal property rights and effective land management is fundamental to economic growth, national wealth and sustainable development.”