Out Island Chamber: Be specific on Family Island development plans

Out Island Chamber: Be specific on Family Island development plans
Exuma Chamber of Commerce President Pedro Rolle.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS— An out island Chamber of Commerce president yesterday called for greater “specificity” regarding its plans for encouraging family island investment and developing industries. 

The government in its Speech from the Throne has committed to developing “an investment portfolio for the Family Islands to promote an investor-friendly environment with a focus on an investment portfolio for specialized industries”.

Exuma Chamber of Commerce president Pedro Rolle told Eyewitness News, said: “It sounds really impressive but it lacks in specificity. You would hope to get a sense of what it is they plan to do with respect to the family islands. As it relates to Exuma for instance, where will the process begin?

“A good place to start if you want to talk about investment in the family island is addressing the high cost of electricity, directing investment towards solar and alternative energy, and bringing that information to the local community. We need to see specific things targeted otherwise we have no way of knowing or measuring whether they are delivering on their promises.”

Rolle noted that the challenges faced in New Providence are often compounded on the Family Islands.

“We have challenges with the availability of supplies and the cost of shipping. The container costs have increased dramatically over the past few months. I think family islanders are however more adaptable to these sort of challenges.”

The government indicated yesterday that it plans to undertake infrastructural upgrades throughout all of the Islands of The Bahamas in an effort to create investment portfolios.