PM highlights anchor projects for Family Islands

PM highlights anchor projects for Family Islands
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Highlighting several multi-million-dollar projects eyed for the Family Islands that are expected to boost the economies of those communities, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said last night the Tyrsoz Family has proposed a $580 million investment in South Abaco for the development of a five-star residential resort and marina.

The project will involve the upgrade and expansion of the Sandy Point airstrip, the development of Sandy Point ferry dock as a cargo transhipment port and construction area, as well as the extension of Queen’s Highway in South Abaco, Dr. Minnis said during a national address.

The prime minister also said his administration has approved a Bahamian joint venture partnership arrangement for the development of the Blue Hole Marina and Lodge in Fresh Creek, which once completed, will consist of a 12-room lodge and an 80-slip marina, including a bulk fuel facility.

He also touched on several multi-million-dollar projects in Long Island, including the $5 million development of the Pinder’s Bay, a 28-bungalow community development project at Lower Harbour.

The project will see approximately 30 Bahamians hired during the construction phase, and nine Bahamians in permanent jobs to operate and maintain the residential community.

Dr. Minnis also said a new five-star eco-resort by ‘Star Resort’ with 515 luxury residences is in the pipeline for Long Island.

He also named numerous projects on Eleuthera, including The Philautia boutique resort hotel project, a five-star wellness retreat proposed for Governor’s Harbour; Disney Cruise Lines’ low-density cruise port destination at Lighthouse Beach in Bannerman Town; Windermere Island North Community Resort; Jack’s Bay Community Resort and Davis Harbour Marine, south of Rock Sound; and a $4 million Harbour Island Marina and Community Resort.

Of the Disney project, Minnis reiterated that the project will create around 150 jobs and an array of entrepreneurial opportunities for residents.

As has been reported, 190 acres of the land purchase by Disney from the private seller will be converted to the government for conservation and a national park.

Dr. Minnis noted that the majority of tourism activity and the vast majority of the population can be found on two per cent of The Bahamas — New Providence and Paradise Island

He said the other 98 per cent of mostly far-flung islands have the same fundamental assets but remain largely underdeveloped.

“The role of government is to help provide the Bahamian people and international partners with the incentives to develop the islands of The Bahamas.”

Since mid- 2017, the government has approved an estimated $3.7 billion of foreign investment projects.

“Many of these projects, once approved, immediately contracted Bahamian firms for legal, accounting, project management, environmental, architectural, consulting and other professional services.

The prime minister attributed the success in foreign direct investment to the increase of information community technology enterprises and boutique financial services investments as companies look to make The Bahamas their regional headquarters.

Additionally, the prime minister said New Providence has received 55 per cent of the inward flow on foreign direct investment since 2017, including the approval of numerous financial services companies and a number of back-office administrative firms.

To further Bahamian and international partnerships and foreign direct investment, Minnis said the government will restructure the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) by establishing a “promotional arm” of the BIA.

According to Dr. Minnis, the unit will be critical for economic expansion and growth and will facilitate investment promotion tours.