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Ingraham Raps Enterprise Bill

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday attacked the controversial Commercial Enterprises Bill, saying the Minnis administration should “rethink the bill and make necessary adjustments.”

His criticism during a rare interview with The Tribune came less than a week after the bill passed the House of Assembly on Wednesday with the unanimous support of Free National Movement parliamentarians.

The bill would allow foreigners or Bahamians to receive “economic concessions” if they establish specified types of businesses in The Bahamas with an investment of no less than $250,000.

Such businesses would be entitled to a specified number of work permits for executives, managers and people with “specialised knowledge”.

Almost none of the bill’s key provisions were spared Mr Ingraham’s harsh assessment. The bill’s $250,000 threshold “is too low”, he said.

The bill’s provision entitling businesses to a specified number of work permits were likened to 1950s era policies that have long since been “discarded”.

The bill’s lack of guarantee that a certain number or percentage of Bahamians be employed as a tradeoff for work permits is, he said, something he could not support.

“If they say they want a business to open up and a foreigner could get a permit automatically after 14 days and they want to limit this and the other benefits of the bill to a place like Freeport, that’s something that I, as an ordinary Bahamian, could swallow, but I cannot swallow that for The Bahamas, as a national policy, foreigners can come in for only $250,000 and open these businesses without us knowing how many Bahamians will be employed,” Mr Ingraham said.

“That’s not kosher for me. I’m sorry, but every now and again I reserve the right to speak my mind about matters that come up with the public.”

Mr Ingraham, pointing to old Hawksbill Creek and Hotels Encouragement Act laws from the 1950s that he had on his desk, noted that policies entitling businesses to work permits were repealed. 

“Back in the 50s when the government wanted the hotels to have this provision, they said that you had to have at least 75 per cent of your staff Bahamian. The PLP government repealed that and said that is unfair to the Bahamas; but in that case, you at least had a minimum threshold for the number of Bahamians employed. That same concept has been discarded in Freeport, where the Hawksbill Creek Agreement in the 1950s provided that people in Freeport, licensees, could bring skilled persons into the Bahamas to work and the Bahamas could only refuse permission for them on the grounds of personal undesirability. Those policies since discarded are coming back again. Those who’ve been around for a long time don’t support it coming back; it’s not in the interest of the Bahamas in our point of view and I’m very clear about that.”

Mr Ingraham said if the Minnis administration wants to adjust the country’s immigration policies on work permits, it should not only do so in concert with the Progressive Liberal Party but it should also take a comprehensive approach rather than a piecemeal one. 

“If there is going to be a guarantee in law of a certain number of work permits they should speedily move toward determining that guarantee for other people and businesses. How many for Atlantis? How many for Citibank? How many for Baha Mar? Or is it going to apply to these particular businesses only? “Normally what would happen is Atlantis would say I’ll hire 3,000 people and then there will be a heads of agreement that says you can get a certain number of work permits but only in relation to what employment levels you would have for Bahamians. There’s a big difference between that and saying to somebody if you want to invest $250,000 and work in the Bahamas and bring a certain number of people you could do so but you don’t have to say how many Bahamians you are going to employ. All of that for $250,000? Oh no, no, no. If I have to accommodate you, what will I get in return?”

“Many investments are stifled and are not properly proceeded with because of immigration regulations and procedures,” Mr Ingraham said. “That’s a fact. It would be good for The Bahamas if both political parties can agree on an immigration policy that becomes a national immigration policy so that when the PLP is in and the FNM is out they don’t change it and the FNM doesn’t change it when it gets in so everyone knows this is the national policy of The Bahamas.

“The national policy has been you get the work permit if there are no skilled Bahamians available but it has never been that a company is entitled to a certain number of work permits. If that policy is going to change and it appears to be changing, then it seems to me that there will need to be a national consensus between the political parties because otherwise what you will have happen is people who are going to invest will take account of the Bahamas’ history; in recent times, we have been voting the government out every five years so the investors will think, ‘if I do this deal now because they promise me this and the next fella say he’s going to repeal it when he gets in, it’s not going to be very effective.’ I would suggest that the government seek to have a policy that could be agreed between itself and the opposition. Both of them should recognise we need to make some changes to immigration if we are going to make the Bahamas a more attractive place for investment.”

Through the National Economic Council (NEC) and the Bahamas Investment Authority, it has been a longstanding policy of the Bahamas since the 1990s to offer concessions to international businesses that invest a certain amount of money in the country.

Under Ingraham administration policies in 1994 and for years after, that threshold was $250,000.

The threshold was raised to $500,000 under the last Ingraham administration in 2011.

Mr Ingraham noted that Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Works Minister Desmond Bannister, Financial Services Minister Brent Symonette and Labour Minister Dion Foulkes were all Cabinet ministers at the time and agreed to the amendment.

“The rationale was we wanted to encourage investment and we thought $250,000 was too small,” he said. “Sixteen years from then we may have removed that threshold further up but certainly not reduce it in half. They ought to explain how they have now arrived at $250,000.”

As for the bill’s provision automatically granting work permits to people if the director of immigration fails to address their application in 14 days, Mr Ingraham said: “To say that I can in 14 days approve or have your permit deemed to been approved does not give me enough time to determine your suitability, your character and the rest of it. You are a foreigner. Every foreigner who comes to the Bahamas needs permission from the Bahamas to come here. And so I would not be prepared to open myself up to say just come, apply and if you don’t get an answer in 14 days go to work. That’s a matter of judgment but I’m not for that.”

Comments

stillwaters 1 week, 6 days ago

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ingraham is trying to act like he doesn't know how dire our circumstances are.

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BahamasForBahamians 1 week, 6 days ago

Even Ingraham is distancing himself from the little hubert now..

It took Perry and Ingraham 10-15 years as Prime Minister, respectively, to do as much damage as little hubert has done in about 7 months.

It is absurd.

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bahamian242 1 week, 6 days ago

I vote No b/c 250k is not enough. It will then put the small man at an already disadvantaged situation, in Business here in the Bahamas!

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stillwaters 1 week, 6 days ago

Bahamian businesses would work if they didn't charge so much in their stores. Bought a $19 radio in Lauderdale and the same radio is on sale at various shops here for $78 and up.. We can make it in small businesses if not for greed.

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TalRussell 1 week, 6 days ago

Dear Comrade Santa, I writin' cause Minnis, KP, 'Dionisio James', Marvin, Jeff, AG Carl, and Brent - have all been bad men’s, please make demands on Her Excellency Da Governor General Marguerite to royally summons the seven-men’s up to Mount Fitzwillkiam to fire them to brungs back to power our most beloved ‘Fisherman’s from Cooper’s Town’ Papa Hubert, as our prime minister to form and head an all new red shirts cabinet.

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DDK 1 week, 6 days ago

Mr. Ingraham raises very valid points. The Commercial Enterprises Bill appears to be 'wishy-washy' at best. More support would come from all avenues if Bahamian enterprises were given MORE concessions that foreigners. It is our country and business regulations must be fair and sensible to its citizens. Stimulating the economy should not mean threatening further the livelihood hood of Bahamians. Mr.Ingraham's sage remarks as concerns both major parties agreeing in principal to a revised bill regarding investment thresholds and work permits seems apropos, particularly in light of the opposition leader's rants about repeal. It SHOULD be agreed to in principle on record by both parties, if at all possible, although that would probably be asking too much! If the bill is tweaked and refined it should help our struggling economy.

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TalRussell 1 week, 6 days ago

Comrade DDK, how is it you think the red shirts party's current leadership which ran the 2017 general election campaign on 'class division' - will want work with a people they only see as of the 'lower class? They won the government by focusing on 'class division.'

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stillwaters 1 week, 6 days ago

They won because the PLP was out of control with their corruption and tiefin'

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TalRussell 1 week, 6 days ago

Comrade StillWaters, are you vouching for a government that continues to tell lies, even after wrestling away the reigns government from the PLP? Comrade StillWaters, have you NO questions for PM Minnis... or at least his mouthpiece 'ACEE?

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TheMadHatter 1 week, 6 days ago

StillWaters is correct on this one. We need something and we need something quick. We are either going to have a snowball effect going up or a snowball effect going down. Minnis is choosing up - and I think all Bahamians was to go up. This Bill will do that once signed into Law.

We need those areas of investment that the Bill is limited to and we need them last week. People got power turned off, water turned off, kids with hold in dey shoe. I don't know how many banks Ingraham wants to close.

This will chop down monopolies in this country (which is one of our true coffin nails) and open up things for people to see, witness, learn from, and get involved in. It's time to come out of the bush and into the 21st century. Thank you Dr. Minnis.

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OldFort2012 1 week, 6 days ago

I thought the old codger was old and wise, now I see he is just old. $250k is not enough? How much do you need to rent an office of 1,000 square feet and put in 5 desks and 5 computers? That is all you need nowadays. You don't need land, you don't need buildings. You don't need big investment. You need knowledge.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 6 days ago

You missed the part where there's a charge to set up the business. There's some quid pro quo for being allowed to operate in the Bahamas. It doesn't have to be monetary just equitable.

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OldFort2012 1 week, 5 days ago

Oh, pardon me. I thought we were desperate. But now I can see everything is going swimmingly and we don't need anyone's knowledge. We are world leaders in nanotechnology. Carry on as we are. All is perfect.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

Np you're excused. I was told once that you never negotiate from a position of weakness.

That's not to say you may never be in a situation where your back is against the wall, but you don't beg and plead just to get the deal and end up with no real benefit. You let the other guy know he needs you too. There's absolutely nothing in this bill that's says anything will be remitted to the Bahamas. It's instructive that what YOU described as the "investment" scenario, is exactly what people are objecting to.

"Rent isn't that much, five or so expats in the office and a few computers".

Where's the "jobs and training for Bahamians, bolstering of the middle class, high paying jobs in the inner city, tech industry"..and whatever else they've thrown around as justifications but the kitchen sink....what you described looks like someone having a nice Caribbean playground to run a small operation. That's it.

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banker 1 week, 5 days ago

Can you please explain how small operations are bad? I was always under the impression that SMB's are the bellwether drivers of the economy. They are the first to recover after an economic recession; they are the first to employ in recoveries; they are over 45% of the non-farm GDP, in a diversified economy; they are the majority employer; they have the largest growth potential (say hello Bahamas Striping); they are the only sector disrupters; they are the only gender equalizers in a small economy; they can provide higher incomes than employment; etc etc etc.

I know an oil guy (commodity trader/arb I think) who moved to Nassau. Brought his executive assistant (and family) with him, 4 work permits in all. Lived like that for four years. After 8 years he employs 3 other Bahamians who he trained up as apprentices plus a receptionist. Doesn't do one iota of business in the Bahamas. Contributes over a million in economic offset in the local economy (higher percentage per employee per revenue than large FDI operations) and still ships profits offshore. I don't see anything wrong with a small Caribbean operation. PS - it's not for the sun. It's for tax purposes.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

You are right, small businessesARE the bell weather of the economy, IF those businesses are providing jobs and skills training for YOUR people. I'm speaking to the scenario Old Fort clearly articulated, I didn't misinterpret it, an expat opening a small operation staffed by expats.

I actually know of a business scheduled to open quite soon, and not in an area that is in any way underserved, but it could fall under one of those ambiguous headlines in that schedule. A Bahamian was in line for the management position for some months. Just recently the discussion changed, they were bringing in "their own people". I can only assume they were talking to officials knowledgeable about the passage of this bill. That Bahamian was more than qualified for the position. This is what will happen in large scale. To close your eyes to it is to ignore the glaring loopholes in this bill

I am very concerned about the lack of definition and the broad umbrella in that schedule, unlike you I believe this bill is being passed to facilitate people they were in discussions with during the campaign, the way it's being implemented its not for the benefit of regular Bahamians.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

Under this current bill if this guy wanted to expand and was doing so well, he'd just bring in more expats. Under the old rules it would have been easier to hire and train Bahamians

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OldFort2012 1 week, 5 days ago

Banker is right.

The problem with your argument is that the other guy does NOT need us. Never has, never will. We are trying to entice HIM to come to US. There is no "negotiation". It's take your trousers down time and assume the position, while you hope that he uses some butter. That is what 50 years of wonderful and efficient government has done to us.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

He does need us or he'd be elsewhere. It's for us to understand the reason he's here. I'm told the first rule in business is location location location.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

That's a business with a storefront of course..actually a business with a "storeback" too..

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Fitmiss 1 week, 5 days ago

I agree ThisisOurs. I know persons from The United States that have sat in on meetings with our government. This particular hotel chain wants to operate in The Bahamas. I was told that our Government was giving the hotel every concession it asked for. At the end of the day it was more profitable for the chain than The Bahamas on every level. Yes we need the commerce, but at what cost? We need to let business sense and not emotions rule. We do not need another Grand Bahama where only the rich can thrive. Added to that not even rich Bahamians. This bill needs to be reviewed in details. The entry point is too low. We need to guaranty that qualified Bahamians will be hired.

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themessenger 1 week, 6 days ago

One of the quickest fixes for business, especially small and medium sized ones, is to repeal the ridiculous business license tax on GROSS INCOME. How many businesses are groaning under having to pay this stupid and usurious tax, especially those barely hanging on after eight years of recession. Imagine taking a loss for consecutive years and being taxed on your loss, where there is no vision the people and their business perish!! Business license tax, VAT, government stupidity and tiefin are the biggest obstacles facing business owners in the Bahamas.

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Economist 1 week, 6 days ago

It was Hubert who sent over a Billion dollars of investment to the Cayman Islands in his last term.

These old ideas are killing our economy. We must revive the economy and this new legislation is a good start.

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 6 days ago

The Bill is great. This is the only way forward for financial services to increase IBC incorporations etc. because it is now required that person's domicile with their money to be legitimate for foreign tax purposes. Currently, person's can domicile but not work (they receive permanent residency without the right to work). This is the only way forward to permit and encourage high net worth person's to domicile in The Bahamas along with their assets in a fictional and appealing way.

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Islandboy242242 1 week, 6 days ago

It could be beneficial but needs more work.

  • We need more incentive and increased ease of doing business for Bahamians. Fare business license fees and expedited business license application processing for Bahamians. Also would like to see:

  • Different $$ Threshold for Bahamians vs Foreigners and a higher than 250K minimum for Foreigners.

  • More details pertaining to these special zones and incentives - will foreigners just get huge amounts of crown land as "incentives"?

  • Also probably gonna need some sort of totalization agreement for taxes between the US and The Bahamas to attract US business.

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Clamshell 1 week, 6 days ago

Translation: $250,000 does not provide enough for us to demand our usual bribes and still run a business that we can milk for kickbacks and no-show jobs for our relatives.

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DEDDIE 1 week, 6 days ago

I find it wise to investigate what other countries are doing. In the USA the threshold is $500,000. In Canada it is $150,000 and in the Caymans it is 2.8 million. The key question, considering the above would an investor choose the Bahamas over other jurisdictions. Given the state of the Bahamian economy can we attract investors with top dollars. It is good that the government sees the need to compete for mid level entrepreneurs because the local entrepreneurs are not enough to sustain a viable economy.

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 6 days ago

Excellent point Debbie. This Bill aims at the mid level high net worth, not the ultra high net worth that don't have to work. For this reason it fills a gap in the financial services industry that is a good step forward for The Bahamas.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 6 days ago

Every PM has to cut his own road .......... Minnis has to do the same ........ HAI can offer advice, that is fine, but Minnis has to act on his (Cabinet) own convictions at the end of the day.

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 6 days ago

This Bill (CEB) is a God-send for The Bahamas. It must be so discouraging for our politicians to see their best and brightest efforts twisted and corrupted by ignorant fools of the old guard majority rule, that bankrupted this country with corruption and BOB. Just do it Minnis! You are on the right track. These haters have trouble tying their shoelaces and counting pocket change.

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TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

Comrades! Under existing licensing laws natives can set up shop anywhere excepting if there are special zoning restrictions and if they meet them can still open shop. This is not the case where Minnis's administration will be setting up special zoning areas open only to Expats - where natives would have seek and receive exemptions to open shop in. This is a return back go the pre Pindling emancipation years. The very idea of this is disgusting.

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 5 days ago

So Tal. You ready to set up a nano technology company?

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TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

Comrade BahamaPundit, my Nanotechnology shop is gonna be huge.

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BahamaPundit 1 week, 5 days ago

I want to set this down in stone. This Bill (CEB) is the best thing the Bahamas has passed in the last decade. It modernizes the system. It removes impediments to doing business. It relates to sectors the majority of Bahamians are not utilizing to the extent that they benefit the wider Bahamian economy. This Bill is a win win for The Bahamas. I had my doubts about Minnis, but this Bill has me impressed. This Bill is worthy of Bran's DNA. Papa should gracefully retire and leave the fresh ideas to the next generation. This Bill makes me proud to be Bahamian.

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banker 1 week, 5 days ago

I totally concur. As far as I am concerned, the bill doesn't go far enough. The $250,000 should be lowered to $10,000. The protectionism of "We must protect Bahamian business" is hogwash. We need chlorine in the business pool. If someone can come in and put SuperValue out of business with more efficiency and lower prices, let them do it. We will all profit from more efficient businesses. That goes for everything from plumbers to lawyers to nail estheticians and hair braiders. Business is very Darwinian -- survival of the fittest. An efficient business environment brings prosperity.

We have a sluggish moribund economy and people want to keep the status quo, instead of opening it up and flushing out the inefficient businesses.

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banker 1 week, 5 days ago

Sit small Papa Fatman. Your voice was absent when the PLP lowlifes ruined the country. You share your table with the PLP rectal effluvia that pillaged and raped the Bahamas. You were good in your time, but you are yesterday's man. You didn't prosecute Shame Gibson when you had him by the short and curlies. You tolerated the kleptocracy of the PLP. You didn't have the guts or the will to clean the Augean Stables. You did what you thought the best you can, but you were weighed in the scales and found wanting. You were the best Prime Minister that the Bahamas ever had, but the bar was very low with the criminal sub-human PLP slime in power. You didn't push to do all that you could, and now it is time for you to sit small and have big grouper dinners with your half-gay PLP cohorts.

The Bahamas is at a crossroads now. Minnis is interesting. He is on half-speed. He is feeling his way. But the success of his administration could go either way. He could be presiding over the total collapse of the Bahamas or they could take the fledgling steps to save it. His cabinet has some real yesterday men as well, but there are a few modern thinkers and doers, and it is my hope that they prevail. The good thing, is that the corruption and pillaging has stopped or at least attenuated by over 90%. Some of the yesterday's men are still licking gravy off the side of the public bowl.

The other thing that I have learned, is that no one who is anyone reads these comments here. The comments are all marketplace noise and mostly ignored.

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TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

Comrade Banker, are you saying after all the work I put into articulating my well arranged in my head thoughts on the complex issues facing the Bahamaland - why anyone would stop their knitting to read mine and the other bloggers posts to these hereto Tribune blog pages? Poops!

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

He he apparently you're still reading even though you escaped

Also those guys who keep telling you about multilinear this and that are feeding you crap. Either they want to impress you with how smart they are or they're trying to keep you out. Try a beginners book and build up, it's not hard. The head first series is a good start

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banker 1 week, 5 days ago

I am still reading occasionally, but I am a nobody like the rest of us. And I happen to be home for a little bit to settle matters.

As a nobody, I do not understand what you are getting at in your second paragraph. 'Splain Ricky.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

Someone referenced the carnival investment in Freeport so I went to the story to refresh myself on what skills were involved, still couldn't tell if the trainees were being trained to create the solution or trained as regular technicians to support devices, but doesn't matter, training is good.

Anyway, I saw a reply you'd written that I hadn't seen previously about wanting to learn to do what your colleagues were doing. And you talked about all this advanced stuff, it was the wrong way. Your colleagues are clearly brilliant but if you're serious about learning you have to start with the basics, understanding object oriented, polymorphism, encapsulation, separation of concerns, inheritance etc etc. Those sound like big words but trust me they're understandable and the basics of what you need. I finished college before email came on stream, I was using green and black screens and I had to learn this stuff on my own before YouTube. I'm constantly learning. This is why I get so upset when people say "you don't have that skill TODAY away with you". To me EVERYTHING is learnable, especially if you have someone to guide you in steps that are digestible. So if you're serious, lookup the head first books on Amazon. If they have the object oriented topic start with that otherwise I'd try the Java book.

Yesterday I had a conversation with someone, I was looking for advice on a new skill I was trying to learn. The space is so huge I didn't want to be wandering around aimlessly on the wrong path (maybe I need to talk to your colleagues :-/ ), this person said to me, "I didn't know there were so many of you in the Bahamas", yet the minister says we don't have people with these skills. Who is he talking to?

Oh btw i forgot, I think I found the answer I was looking for, "I think" have to do some reading today, translating RDBMS relationships to Google cloud datastore, I believe I can do what I want with embedded entities, not sure, ask your colleagues for me please.

As to being a nobody, no my friend, you are great, the world wouldn't be what it is without you, that's why you're here. Just do the thing you're here for.

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John 1 week, 5 days ago

Hubert Minnis should have gotten more consultation on this bill before he rushed it through to appease his invisible but dictatorial masters. While there are legitimate and genuine foreigners wishing to come in and set up businesses in the Bahamas there are many financial vultures who are buzzing and waiting to gouge out the eye of Bahamians and deny Bahamians any and every opportunity that exist for them. Minnis should not try play the role of lone ranger or depend only on his (mostly) rookie cabinet when treading on dangerous ground.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

Agreed, the idea is great, it was very poorly executed

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John 1 week, 5 days ago

I still don’t see any greatness in the idea period. If foreigners coming here and establishing companies but bringing in foreign labor how does that help the country? Bahamians are still unemployed, Bahamian businesses will still be suffering and closing down and the little bit of capital that will circulate will eventually leave the country. Better to give 250 Bahamians crown land to farm, let them bring 20-30 Haitians each and employs Bahamians to supplement them. At least at the end of the day food will be produced, sold and the money stays here.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

The "idea" of encouraging investment in the Bahamas is always great.

The "poor execution" I mentioned speaks to exactly what you're saying Bahamians are unemployed, and this bill doesn't do anything to encourage Bahamian employment despite the farcical claim by min of labour that it will lead to high paying jobs in the inner city. Its just a welcome mat for expats to bring in a few people and enjoy the sunshine.

The only way this works for Bahamians is if you cut fees. Generally we don't have the capital that foreign investors do,our barrier for entry is mainly capital

We don't have the market to make food production cheap or profitable on a large scale, there are just too many cheaper options...that's my view. All of the farms that I know of have very pricey products. Now if the objective is self sustenance then you try to subsidize them in some way.

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John 1 week, 5 days ago

Thus far the Minnis government is batting ZERO when it comes to easing the burden and hardship suffered by many Bahamians. In fact the unemployment numbers may have increased since May. Many businesses are claiming their sales are off 30 - 50 %, banks continue to raise their fees and food prices are in bearable. Then there is the jackass from BPL who took to the air waves claiming that Bahamians can expect lower light bills over the next few months. The key to the story was because of the cooler months Bahamians will be consuming less power and therefore the bills will be lower... no rate reduction like the headline suggests. Like Bahamians are dumb and don’t already expect lower power bills in the winter. Many look forward to them and budget so they can pay off outstanding balances during this period so they can get through the summer months. Businesses especially. But this man hit the news media bringing false hopes with no news.

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John 1 week, 5 days ago

Then this clown tried to mislead the public even more by saying ‘both the regular billing and the surcharge on the bill will be reduced.’ But he quickly added ‘Because the consumer will be using less electricity.’ Do they still have ‘The Gong Show?’ Or one where the audience can toss pies at clowns and losers?

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 5 days ago

Will Ingraham tell us why he didnot follow through and sold off more of the BTC and Arawak Port shares to Bahamians?????? ............. or why he told Christie not to?????????? .......... smt

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Dawes 1 week, 5 days ago

On my drive to work today i looked around and so many things are run down, be it the buildings (both Govt and private), the half working traffic lights, the potholes in the road and thought to myself that what we are doing is not working, and in particular it is not working for the poorest amongst us. This is why i support this bill, as if it works as intended then we should all benefit. If it doesn't then whoever the Government of that day will need to tweak it. There are those who will be against it saying the foreigners will take over and say how will the mum and pop shops survive. They are not coming to open mom and pop shops, but businesses that will compete internationally, not locally. In fact that they should help the mom and pop shops, but you can't see that or won't. So if we had your way we will continue as is, maybe somehow managing to not default on the dollar and go insolvent (that is when those nasty foreigners will really be able to take us over) whilst many of our children move overseas to give themselves a chance to make it. I say lets give it a go, as we need to do something to get out of this funk we are in.

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OldFort2012 1 week, 5 days ago

Dead right.

How is a nanotechnology company or a software firm with 5 foreigners going to compete with Bahamians? The people criticising this Bill have not even read it.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

How? Lol. I gave a demo of something I was working on a few weeks ago. I was told third hand that they liked the idea and went outside the country to fulfil it. I'm not talking off the top of my head.

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Dawes 1 week, 5 days ago

Not sure how this shows that the bill will not help. Currently the situation we have didn't help you.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

It will get worse and be sanctioned by the govt. your eyes are closed. First you tell me I waiting, I show you I een waitin I doing, then you tell me I dreaming that jobs will be taken away I tell you I een dreaming it just happened and you tell me well if it happened before the bill is ok. I hope when the middle class is no longer able to buy goods or services from your employer or you, you are equally as happy to carry the door is open flag.

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Dawes 1 week, 4 days ago

The middle class has been shrinking for the last 10-15 years. You believe that somehow we are going to be able to have a workforce trained in an industry that we don't have over here, and then take that industry to the world to have the world want to spend money with our industry, all the while we only allow Bahamians to do it. I disagree. Can you also resend where you showed me you weren't waiting, as i only saw where you said you were working on something for the last few years.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

I was just informed that this 250,000 could include some dubious things unrelated to investment in "the business". You are mistaking objection to the sloppiness of the bill to objection to the bill itself

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Dawes 1 week, 5 days ago

It is up to the Government to ensure the rules are followed. Once that is the case they could do whatever they like. As i have noted before i have no problem with them coming as they are not in an industry which is booming over here (or even exists) so any money we can make out of it and get jobs is OK by me.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

You clearly don't know what we have. I want to see how long a nanotechnology company will stay here with the high electricity costs and the power outages.this een for no nanotechnology company.

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Dawes 1 week, 4 days ago

That goes along with other things this Government must sort out: Education, Price of electricity, the landfill, Crime, The roads, and many others. To me the most important is education as in time that will help all. The easiest is probably the roads. The one to have the largest economic impact quickest is electricity. This bill can not be the only thing they do to try and sort this country out.

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SP 1 week, 4 days ago

Oh my GOD, now we have to hear to from Hubert Alexander Ingraham, the single person most responsible for leading the country to shambles next to Perry Gladstone Christie?

Opinions are like anus's, everybody has one and they all stink from lack of intellect! Enough already.

Obviously, no one here has enough criteria on nanotechnology which to base ideas on what a realistic investment threshold should be. Where did the 250K figure came from? Why is it that successive governments always become instant geniuses when elected, hell bent on reinventing wheels, and making policy decisions by the seat of their pants?

Since more than 50% of the people attending the Freeport symposium were Bahamian nanotechnology professionals, the only "real" solution to answering this threshold question is to simply ASK THEM what a reasonable investment threshold for nanotechnology should be!

Lets stop wasting time on this needless debate on something none of us know anything about and move on.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 2 days ago

How many employees you think will be required to work the assembly line? You think you could buy one unit of that specialized equipment for 250k? Insurance? What about setting up the sanitized manufacturing space. Oh electricity, unless they're operating the assembly line from their two bedroom apartment. It doesn't take much to see that talking about nanotechnology and 250k investment doesn't make much sense.

You may not be well versed in a particular field, but God gave some of us enough sense to know when we hearing BS

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 2 days ago

250K is the minimum investment .......... It does not take a rocket scientist to determine that the Brent List covers a range of FDI from 250K upwards of 9 figures.

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