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Technology Hub Flagship Admits Problems But No Gb Pull-Out

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

The “flagship” for the government’s Grand Bahama technology hub yesterday denied it plans to exit the island while admitting its business strategy had run into problems.

GIBC Digital conceded it had “overestimated” demand for its services, but said suggestions it was pulling out of The Bahamas were “simply not true” and reiterated its commitment to Grand Bahama.

“Developing business in The Bahamas continues to be a challenge, and we have had to make adjustments, as businesses do,” said Greg Wood, GIBC Digital’s chief executive. “We overestimated demand for the transformative work we do, and unfortunately, we’ve had to reduce staff to align with current demand, but the suggestion that we are leaving is simply not true.”

This is not the first time GIBC Digital has been forced to clarify its intentions. As recently as February 2019 the company was forced to clarify reports of “lay-offs” on Grand Bahama while acknowledging that business had been slower than expected.

“Business has been slower than expected, and we have had to make adjustments, but this is no cause for concern,” Mr Wood said at the time. “We’ve also had to part ways with some senior employees who did not share our values, but we have replaced them with an all-Bahamian leadership team and are now on track to meet our targets for 2019.”

GIBC Digital was among the first companies to apply for, and be approved, under the Government’s new Commercial Enterprises Act, which aims to smooth the path for investment in targeted industries by easing Immigration bureaucracy and ‘red tape’.

The Act allows approved companies to send key personnel to the Bahamas, and establish operations, without first being in possession of valid work permits. Such permits must be applied for within 30 days of these executives’ arrival in the Bahamas and, should no reply be received from the director of Immigration within 14 days, the permits are automatically deemed to have been granted.

The Act, together with the Grand Bahama ‘technology hub’ initiative, are major components in the Government’s plan to restructure and reposition the Bahamian economy by diversifying away from its reliance on tourism and financial services.

GIBC Digital was founded by Mr Wood in 2011 as an enterprise focused on the provision of operational and information technology (IT) strategy, with a focus on regulatory-driven change. GIBC helps its clients re-engineer their data resources in order to help them stay competitive and optimise their data security.

The firm launched an office in Nassau last October after opening on Grand Bahama last June.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

"High paying jobs for Bahamians in technology."

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banker 3 months ago

It's time for Kwasi et al to get a different strategy and admit that things aren't working out. The committee that recommended the path to a tech hub were a bunch of amateurs who didn't know what they were talking about. The irony is that a path was defined in the first Tech Hub conference (I watched the Youtube videos) and none of the recommendations of the speakers was followed. In the past two years Cayman Islands has attracted over 100 blockchain companies and added close to 4 billion dollars to their GDP while we have actually regressed. Time to bench the clowns and call the real pros in on how to create a tech hub.

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