NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Philip Davis told local wholesalers and retailers that they have “been warned” while expressing concern that the lack of competition in the market has resulted in businesses not passing on the government’s import duty reductions to consumers.
While addressing the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) 55th National Convention on Friday, Prime Minister Davis outlined his administration’s various accomplishments since assuming office, noting that in an effort to combat the impact of rising global inflation, his administration has cut import duties on dozens of food items.
Still, the Prime Minister suggested that the impact of this move was not being passed on to consumers.
“Here’s another fight we can’t postpone: bringing down the cost of living. High prices have always been a plague. But the current global inflation crisis has made prices unbearably high,” said Davis.
“We raised the minimum wage, Cut import duties on dozens of food items.”
He further noted that his administration is making unprecedented investments in agriculture—growing more food locally—which will lower food prices for families, keep more of our money inside the country, and create more opportunities for Bahamian entrepreneurs.
He added: “But I want to also be clear to wholesalers and retailers. When your prices reflect global inflation, it’s one thing. But when you keep your prices high even after we cut your import duties – because there ain’t enough competition to cause you to lower them – that’s something we can’t tolerate. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Davis said that his administration is also seeking to help more Bahamians turn their talents into businesses, and help small Bahamian businesses become big ones.
“Our government has opened the country’s first-ever Trade Office, to help Bahamian entrepreneurs find export markets,” he stated.
“We’re working to smash through the glass ceilings in the private sector, the ones that are limiting Bahamian advancement to leadership positions. Employers are on notice – work permits will not be approved if a Bahamian is qualified and wants that job.
“And if there isn’t a Bahamian in that position now, they better be training one to be ready when the current work permit expires. Because I will not tolerate limits on what Bahamians can achieve in our own country,” Davis charged.