Family Islands ripe for economic investment, says Chamber president

Family Islands ripe for economic investment, says Chamber president
Exuma Chamber of Commerce president Pedro Rolle

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – There needs to be greater effort to divert investment and economic opportunities in the family islands, according to Exuma Chamber of Commerce president Pedro Rolle, noting that “Nassau alone is not going to do it”.

Rolle in an interview with Eyewitness News Online said that Exuma’s economy is showing positive signs, with the island primed as an alternative investment ground to Nassau and Freeport.

“I feel positive about the signs around us and the confidence being expressed by persons. I think Exuma is on an upward path and as long as we can provide a level playing field and give locals better incentives, funding and concessions I believe Exuma can be a wonderful alternative to investment in Grand Bahama and Nassau,” he said.

“We need more family island investment and opportunities because Nassau alone is not going to do it.”

Rolle also weighed in on the recent launch of Project Sand Dollar – the payments system modernization initiative launched by the Central Bank last week.

He continued: “I think it’s an amazing thing. Even in the sort period of time they have been engaged in speaking with the residents and merchants they have gotten somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000 people to sign up or agree to sign up.

“What it does for consumers from my perspective is it brings everyone into the official loop in terms of financial records. If you were a mom and pop shop and you are now collecting and paying money out of your Sand Dollar account, without even realizing it they would be creating financial records to show to financial institutions what they have been doing.

Rolle said: “In a roundabout way it creates good record keeping. I think that all around this has tremendous benefits for the local economy.”