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Pm Urges Country To Go Digital

PRIME Minister Hubert Minnis. (File photo)

PRIME Minister Hubert Minnis. (File photo)

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

DECLARING that the country will have to make “deep and far-reaching structural changes” to the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday it is “absolutely necessary” that the Bahamas becomes fully digitised.

He was speaking at the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration’s virtual symposium about the country’s way forward in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and now, COVID-19.

In view of this, Dr Minnis said yesterday: “The full digitisation of the Bahamas at every level is absolutely necessary.

“Many of the bureaucratic roadblocks to the ease of doing business must be bulldozed. We must streamline the process for domestic and foreign investment in a broader range of industries.

“We are now in one of the most challenging periods ever in the history of the Bahamas pre- or post- independence. We are being summoned by history and by circumstance to build a new Bahamas, a new Commonwealth, and potentially one of the most successful small countries in the world.”

Noting that road to recovery will not be easy in the days ahead, Dr Minnis highlighted the need for more creative minds in helping to chart a new course for the Bahamian economy.

“In this great and historic ambition, we must utilise the full gifts of the Bahamian imagination and those global partners who wish to join us in this new Bahamian enterprise,” he said.

“As a major pillar of the Bahamas’ economy, the financial services sector continues to offer tremendous opportunities for our economy.

“While some industries have been brought to a standstill, the financial services sector has pushed ahead in a number of ways. The industry’s technological innovation has positioned it for recovery in the face of global uncertainty.

“Events like this symposium illustrate the government’s commitment to supporting the industry in weathering this pandemic.”

Dr Minnis noted that one way the government is demonstrating this commitment is through stakeholder engagement, adding that it’s important for “government, industry and civil society” to partner in order to rebuild and re-vitalise the economy.

During his address, the prime minister also reiterated the role of his newly-appointed Economic Recovery Committee, which makes recommendations to the government on the long-term economic recovery for the country.

“Over time, the committee will present a bold vision for a modern Bahamian economy that is resilient, dynamic, inclusive and sustainable,” he said.

“…I assure industry stakeholders that financial services is one of the primary areas of concern for the ERC as we work to build a resilient, dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable Bahamas economy.”

He continued: “We have seen what we can accomplish when we work together. After 80 years, the Bahamas remains a global leader in financial services.

“We are a well-regulated jurisdiction with expertise comparable to anywhere in the world. As the financial services industry evolves, my government will work to help the sector in its ongoing evolution.”

Comments

The_Oracle 1 week, 5 days ago

Digitizing is all well and fine, but it is not an answer unto itself. It can be of great help to PEOPLE. It can also hamper people. It is all in the implementation. Simply a modern tool. It will not fix endemic failure. It will not fix crumbling infrastructure. It will not fix graft, sloth and avarice.

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Clamshell 1 week, 5 days ago

I think a good first step would be a reliable source of ... uh ... electricity. I read somewhere that digital stuff requires it. But whadda I know?

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DDK 1 week, 5 days ago

How can we go more 'digital' without a reliable source of power and communication? Is the man batty? He jumps from one inane topic to another without accomplishing didly. What a legacy he will have!

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 week, 5 days ago

Should ask the PM to clarify exactly what going digital means?

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bogart 1 week, 5 days ago

......seems to be using digits....as in fingers ....to do honest work instead of seems past administrations policy of ...hands being in the cookie jar.

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 week, 5 days ago

Someones hand is always in the cookie jar, its just a matter of whos eating the cookie, and if the people will get any of the crumbs

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

that is very good analysis. I've often said its like these guys walk into parliament like passing the pearly gates, open the books and say shut the door quick, don't let them out there know bout dis! everybody guh want get in.

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bogart 1 week, 5 days ago

...and some dont have to walk in because they have been there for decades done outworn the leather seats, certainly well established friends both sides.

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ohdrap4 1 week, 5 days ago

Few months ago all they talked about was blockchain. I guess the blockchain is completed.

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joeblow 1 week, 5 days ago

A fast network would help with digitization. Sounds like he just fell short of announcing that we may possibly have a new (possibly) Huawei 5g network that might have been installed during lock down-- possibly??

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 week, 5 days ago

Lol..dont even get me started. If he is talking about digitization in order to make it easier to sell whats left of this country to foreigners, then not so fast. How about we keep it analog and invest in supplying this little nation its own food independency. Aint nothing like being on facebook with a hungry belly.

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JokeyJack 1 week, 5 days ago

This is EASY to do. There are 700 islands, rocks, and cays, so all we need are 700 pieces of fiber optic cable. LOL

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 4 days ago

"Events like this symposium illustrate the government’s commitment to supporting the industry in weathering this pandemic."

Not so much. Events like this symposium show the govts willingness to talk. and not much else.

But we should be on our way. We've already directed the sbdc to give grants to seamstresses.

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