NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Government will liberalize the process of investment for areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday.
Minnis was addressing a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) pledge conference at the Baha Mar resort.
He said the government is prepared to simply the investment process and ‘expedite’ applications by Bahamian and international investors for Abaco, the Abaco cays, and East End and West End in Grand Bahama.
“We will liberalize the process of investment for the affected areas. Hard and difficult decisions must be made if we are to rebuild, rebuild quickly, smartly and with resilience,” said Minnis.
Minnis said he would give further details on the issue at the Bahamas Business Outlook conference on Thursday.
While speaking on the sidelines of yesterday’s event, Minnis added: “The whole system must be liberalized. We must invite individuals without the obstruction to invest in our country and help to rebuild Abaco. If done properly I think you will see a new Abaco.”
He said: “The Bahamian populace must understand it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes awhile to build cities.”
Minnis also noted the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority has ‘much work to do’ and is working to boost its capacity.
“They are working through unnecessary bottlenecks and have been given mandate and flexibility to act decisively, directly and quickly,” Minnis told the conference.
“We have established the Authority and our goal is to give the Authority the authority to rebuild Abaco. They can hire town planners and which ever professionals they need moving forward.
He continued: “We want to make land available to the Authority for the people. We would use money from the donations to put in the infrastructure and then we can have bidding an RFP process for the reconstruction of homes.”
“One of the things we will insist on is that solar systems will be introduced in the homes, battery facilities within each subdivision to bring down the cost of energy and our carbon footprint can be decreased .”
Minnis noted that with duty eliminated on building materials, and no cost for the land or infrastructure, Bahamians will be able to purchase homes at a minimal cost.