NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamians should seek to work together and ‘create clusters’ that can support each other on major projects in the country, an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) official has suggested.
The bank has a $292 million portfolio of approved loans for projects with the Government of The Bahamas, and recently held its first procurement fair.
IDB Country Office Representative, Daniela Carrera Marquis suggested there could be even more opportunities available.
“There are eight projects currently in execution and hopefully very soon have we will have one or two more that will open up opportunities for Bahamian companies and individuals in The Bahamas,” said Marquis.
She noted that networking between local companies is extremely important.
“We have had very good results with many Bahamian companies, it’s just that we need to expand the concept and for them to see they can work together and create clusters that can support each for certain projects that have several needs.”
Marlon Johnson, acting Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, said the the ministry is seeking to ensure that it is ‘up to speed’ with international procurement standards.
Johnson noted that the government is actively addressing procurement reform and incorporating best practices.
“I think that is where we are seeking to improve and comping along side that is a fully staffed procurement department, with an emphasis on training and development so that we really get up to speed with international procurement standards,” he said.
“Accompanying the legislation is the strategic plan and right now we are looking at the draft strategic plan that works in tandem with the draft legislation that is being finalized.”
Johnson urged Bahamian companies not to feel ‘intimidated’ by the IDB’s procurement process.
“It isn’t very different from what you would do if your were bidding on a major private contract here in The Bahamas. It may be a few more steps but it is the same information required.”
On Friday, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation chief executive Jeffrey Beckles noted while some businesses may not win the major contracts, there are also smaller contracts to be secured.