NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas must commit greater focus to the digital economy, according to a local economist, who warned that many jobs and traditional companies will be displaced over the next five to ten years.
Rupert Pinder, a University of The Bahamas lecturer and economist, said: “In the immediate term the charge ought to be how we open this economy in a very responsible way.
“In my view there still seems to be a mindset that the status quo will remain and the assumption that the economy maintains the same structure.
“In my opinion what COVID-19 has shown is that the economy will likely take on a different structure and what we really should be the focused is actually the digital economy.”
Pinder said: “The digital economy would foster the creation of new industries and businesses. A lot of traditional companies will be displaced and will not be able to make it over an extended period of time post COVID-19.
“We have to realize that a lot of these jobs we are seeking to protect will no longer be a point of discussion five to ten years from now.”
Pinder noted that technology will displace many of the traditional functions and this nation must be prepared to embrace change.
“Technology will overtake a lot of those jobs,” he continued.
“We have to get our people prepared for the wave of the future and to seize these opportunities.We have to look at seriously putting the policies in place in terms of a digital economy because that can help tourism as well.
“We can see the impact that Airbnb has had on the tourism sector in terms of bookings and that sort of thing. You don’t have to go through a travel agent as is years past.”