Pinder pushes VAT added trade for GB
Guardian Business Reporter
The government is looking to make Grand Bahama a value-added trade center that will play a key role in the implementation of a value added trade strategy.
"When you consider the logistics and the assets that Freeport has, there's no doubt in our minds that it would be the perfect trade center," according to Ryan Pinder, minister of financial services.
"Given the container port, the transshipment facilities and the free trade zone that exists in Freeport, that will naturally be the center of our trade platform. Already, we have willing participants like the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA)."
Pinder, who is also responsible for trade and manufacturing, told Guardian Business that legislation will be the key to the strategy's success. He confirmed that it would be based on what is put in place for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
"From a trade perspective, we want to link international agreements with domestic legislation that would provide the framework for economic opportunity going forward."
Last month, The Bahamas launched a new value-added trade strategy whereby investors are encouraged to import the components of products for assembly and eventual export. Pinder believes this strategy will go a long way in the advancement of trade in the country.
"Right now, in The Bahamas we are looking for new opportunities for economic expansion. We look to be that logistics connector between supplying countries and purchasing countries where we will be able to take a product and change it for re-export," he explained.
Pinder was the keynote speaker at The College of The Bahamas' (COB) School of Business 15th Annual Business Week, where he stressed the importance of a partnership between COB and the government as it relates to economic policy and advancement. He also extended an invitation to the students in the School of Business to partner with the Ministry of Financial Services to carry out the necessary research and analysis that would assist in effectively implementing that strategy.
"We are actively utilizing existing and prospective trade agreements to foster regional integration, develop business networks and enhance our trade infrastructure. The trade policies, trade promotion and efforts of the government are designed to lead to economic growth and business prosperity. These have been integrated into the government's value-added trade strategy," Pinder shared.
"I look to the School of Business to work with me in formulating a research paper to provide recommendations and a basis to the government in the proper implementation of a value-added trade strategy to ensure maximum opportunities are provided to Bahamians and Bahamian businesses."
COB's Business Week ends on Thursday afternoon.
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