NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Nearly $800 million in Foreign Direct Investment is projected to bolster the country’s economy in the short to medium terms, the government revealed yesterday.
In his mid-year budget statement, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the economy benefitted from the completion of a number of FDI projects last year, including the opening of the final phase of the Baha Mar Resort—the Rosewood Hotel—and the official opening of the entertainment complex at The Pointe.
He’s expecting that kind of injection to continue, with several projects given the green light.
“Other FDI projects that have already received approval and are in their infancy stages,” he said. “[These] include the $194 million Sterling Hurricane Hole Community Resort and Marina, the $5.2 million Pinder’s Bay Ltd project that is to feature 28 residential beachfront bungalows and a clubhouse, and the $580 million South Abaco investment, for the development of a 5-star Residential Resort and Marina.”
Around nine companies have been approved under the Commercial Entities Act that are also being counted in the total for FDI to date.
“With more projects in the pipeline, we can expect to realize further gains in the rate of economic growth and employment opportunities in the short to medium term,” Turnquest added.
His comments follow recent statements made at Royal Fidelity’s Business Economic Outlook this week by Sr. VP of Public Affairs at the Atlantis Resort Ed Fields. As a panelist on the Nationalism session, Fields lamented that FDI was not embraced more, adding that The Bahamas should look to source more of that type of investment and take the development of this nation even further.
“Our success has been attributable to FDI,” he pointed out. “Every U.S. dollar we had in terms of income is somehow tracked to foreign investment… [but] again, we see the extremely anti-foreign [attitudes] and it makes no sense.
“What we should be doing is saying if this got us to where we are today, how much farther can we get if we just got more. But instead, we push back on this.”
Oxford University Professor Ian Goldin, a panelist during the session, said while it was completely legitimate for Bahamians to have concerns about how FDI is executed in the country, a country the size of The Bahamas should look at FDI as an opportunity.
“In terms of FDI, We need a lot of foreign investment and we need foreigners,” said the former Economic Advisor to President Nelson Mandela. “But it’s how we engage and embrace our investments saying we need this [or] we are not going to succeed.”