NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of Financial Services L. Ryan Pinder presented the Amendments of the Industries Encouragement Act, on September 13, 2012, as part of what he said was the present government’s effort to reverse a failed economic strategy and bad decision by the past government and to provide the framework for Bahamian industrial development.
“These Amendments, along with the Amendments to the Tariff Act, is intended to re-instate the incentives available to Bahamian manufacturers that existed prior to the 2010 amendments enacted by the prior FNM Government,” Minister Pinder said, at a press conference at his ministry.
“The Amendments provide that approved manufacturers may import into The Bahamas without paying customs duty, as long as they remain Approved Manufacturers; there is no longer a five-year limitation for an Approved Manufacturer to receive concessions and there will no longer be a charge of 10 percent duty on Approved Raw Materials and equipment,” he added.
Also taking part in the press conference were Comptroller of Customs Mr. Charles Turner and Chairman of the Subcommittee of the Bahamas Trade Commission on Manufacturing Mr. Andrew Rodgers.
Minister Pinder said that after touring several manufacturers not only on New Providence, but also Grand Bahama and Abaco, he has heard the concerns stating that the previous actions of the former government held back manufacturers from advancement and contributed negatively to the “much-needed engine” for job creation for the private sector.
However, he said, the current government believes in Bahamians and the promotion of Bahamians into the economic mainstream of an expanded and diversified Bahamian economy.
He added that the mandate of the current government is to enhance employment opportunities for Bahamians through economic diversification and promotion.
“My government is deeply wedded to the belief that private enterprise should remain the primary engine of job creation and entrepreneurial opportunity in our country and that tourism and financial services, supported by industrial expansion, fisheries and agricultural production, should be the chief areas of economic activity in our country,” Minister Pinder said.
“The Amendments to the Industries Encouragement Act are initial strong steps of this government to provide the framework for industry expansion,” he added.
Minister Pinder said that in the Ministry of Financial Services they are committed to a programme of not only creating and promoting a platform for successful industrial development, but also exploring linkages between Bahamian manufacturers and market access to encourage regional export opportunities for Bahamian manufacturers.
“We in the Ministry of Financial Services are absolutely committed to this, and I have established a project team dedicated to the policy advancement of industry in The Bahamas,” he noted. “We will not only be administrators in our ministry, but my team will ensure that all opportunities are investigated, and then opportunities when proven will be presented to industry for their advancement.
“Just yesterday, I met with the Charge d’Affaires of the Brazilian Embassy and propose to meet with other country representatives to discuss the opportunity for expanding Bahamian trade of manufactured products to respective regions and the development of industry linkages. This is the basis of the leadership of the Prime Minister and the government, seeking out and developing opportunities for economic success.”
Minister Pinder said that the amendments are the predicate for the promotion of industry, a clear sign of positive initiatives to come for all sectors affected by the government’s trade and industry agenda.
“I anticipate the systematic and deliberate growth of industry that will ensure an economic incline as well as create jobs and provide entrepreneurial opportunities’ for all Bahamians,” Minister Pinder said. “Today, I announce that the amendments to the Industries Encouragement Act and Tariff Act are now in effect and Bahamians can enjoy today the full concessions available under the Act.”
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services
Caption: Minister of Financial Services L. Ryan Pinder (centre) speaks at a press conference presenting the Amendments of the Industries Encouragement Act, on September 13, 2012, at his ministry. Also pictured are Comptroller of Customs Mr. Charles Turner (left) and Chairman of the Subcommittee of the Bahamas Trade Commission on Manufacturing Mr. Andrew Rodgers. (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)