National News

Ministry of Finance, IMF hold 'insightful discussions' with GBPA

As the debate continues regarding Value-Added Tax (VAT), businesses throughout the country, including Freeport, press forward to express their concerns. These concerns range from: How VAT will be implemented and at what rate, to whether or not businesses are prepared, and the impact of VAT on the small business sector of local island economies throughout the chain of islands.

This past week, the Business Development Unit of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited, (GBPA), met with Junji Ueda, Advisor, International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Fiscal Affairs Department, accompanied by Mr. Adrian Conliffe of the Ministry of Finance during a data-gathering visit to Grand Bahama.

Derek Newbold, GBPA Business Development Manager and Charles Pratt, GBPA Commercial Manager were both on hand to greet the visiting duo, while Newbold led a formal presentation, sharing the unique attributes of the City of Freeport.

" We had a very insightful discussion with Mr. Junji and Mr. Conliffe during their visit,"  stated Newbold. "It provided GBPA with an ideal opportunity to share the history of the City of Freeport and its development; the importance of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) to local and international businesses presently operating, as well as Freeportâ s business landscape and economic make-up,"  Newbold said.

" It is important to GBPA that the authorities responsible for the implementation of VAT, understand Freeport. And so, we were happy to provide Mr. Conliffe of the Ministry of Finance, and Mr. Junji of the IMF with a clear and precise overview of the Freeport story." 

Pratt noted that he was pleased to see the Government's interest in Grand Bahama and particularly the City of Freeport.

" We understand that the information gathered, will assist in advising the Government regarding VAT,"  expressed Pratt. "We have a unique structure in Freeport as a result of the HCA. I believe this assessment of Freeport's economy and Government's attempt to understand further how VAT may impact businesses here, should be viewed as a very positive move with regard to VAT." 

Published March 27, 2014

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