|Khaalis Rolle: $1M set aside for investing promotions|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Jun 22, 2012
The government is looking to spend an estimated $1 million in trade investment promotions this year, Guardian Business can confirm.
Khaalis Rolle, minister of state for investments in the Office of the Prime Minister, noted that $1 million has been allocated specifically to the Bahamas Investment Authority for marketing purposes. He revealed that the government is currently looking at a number of investments that are expected to service several areas of the country’s economy.
During a recent trip to the UK, Rolle said he had an opportunity to feel the pulse of the European market.
The state minister shared with Guardian Business that he met with a number of key stakeholders, including Baha Mar executives. He further noted that despite ongoing economic challenges that are facing European countries, there are still great trade opportunities.
“Despite going through a very difficult period in Europe, there are still monies available for investment. There were clear indications from some of the meetings that we held, particularly at the reception organized by Baha Mar. There were 150 of the most influential people from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Many of them were able to purchase property from the Baha Mar group then and there,” according to Rolle.
“We had a meeting with the Commonwealth Business Council to talk about hosting an investment and business conference sometime next year. This shows there is activity taking place and we just need to direct as much of that as possible to our shores.”
Overall, Rolle said the trip to London was very successful, as it presented him with a chance to see what opportunities are available out there for The Bahamas. On that trip, Rolle attended a ritzy reception hosted by the $2.6 billion mega resort, which unveiled its exclusive residences starting at $1.5 million for a junior one-bedroom unit, and running up to $6 million for a four-bedroom villa on the beach.
When Baha Mar is complete, it will contribute up to $1 billion to the local economy and generate a GDP contribution of $11.2 billion, or 10 percent over a 20-year period.
Rolle also confirmed to Guardian Business that his ministry is in the process of hiring an economist.
Meanwhile, he is encouraging business owners to lower the cost of their physical operations to generate more working capital.
He was the keynote speaker at yesterday’s Business Incentives Seminar hosted by the Bahamas Investment Authority and the Office of the Prime Minister, in conjunction with the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) on benefits available under the City of Nassau Revitalization Act and Hotels Encouragement Act.