NEW HORIZONS: Bahamas business community and China exploring mutually beneficial economic opportunities

NEW HORIZONS: Bahamas business community and China exploring mutually beneficial economic opportunities

BCCEC exploring Bahamas-China trade relationship for next 5-15 years

Chinese ambassador notes “huge potential” for partnership between the two countries

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — There is tremendous potential to expand business opportunities for the Bahamian and Chinese business community, it was noted yesterday, as Chinese diplomats and Bahamian business representatives led a virtual webinar to discuss mutually beneficial economic opportunities.

Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson.

Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Chairperson Krystle Rutherford Ferguson noted the BCCEC is exploring ways to expand opportunities for its members by expanding the markets they have access to, with yesterday’s webinar providing a forum to highlight opportunities for the business communities of China and The Bahamas as well as a mutually beneficial trade relationship based on the Chinese development and opening-up priorities for the next five to 15 years.

“It is noteworthy that this year marks the 24th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between The Bahamas and China,” said Rutherford-Ferguson.

“Further, there is strong evidence of robust trade between our countries. According to the International Trade Center, 2020 imports from China to The Bahamas are reported at a total of $279 million and exports from The Bahamas to China totaling $73 million, notwithstanding the overall decline in trade.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Permanent Secretary Julie Campbell (left) and Ambassador Dai Qingli on March 9, 2021.

Chinese Ambassador Dai Qingli acknowledged there is “huge potential” for partnership between The Bahamas and China in a number of key areas and industries.

Gershan Major, the Bahamas China Friendship Association (BCFA) president, noted: “In order for our transformative growth as a nation to be both sustainable and scalable, we must bring our marginalized along, strengthen our middle class and provide equity opportunities for more entrepreneurs willing to take the risks and become active participants in future FDIs from the People’s Republic of China. It cannot simply be a labor-driven exercise.”

He added: “I am a strong proponent of equity and wealth creation. The Bahamas must define very clearly our own foreign policy needs and objectives as we seek to negotiate from a position of strength.

“This must be acted upon with clarity as to what is in the best interest of The Bahamas, its citizens and residents alike. Our two nations’ bond [of] friendship must seek to balance a more equitable exchange whenever and wherever possible, in the interest of both peoples.”