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Bahamas Chamber Of Commerce To Push Nation's Cause In FTAA

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

31 December 2003


The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce is to take a more active role in the country’s FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas) negotiations, conscious of the fact that the Bahamas is under-prepared as the process enters its final year.

"Going into the last year of negotiations for FTAA, we really intend to be more a part of the process than we were in the past, really seeking to influence what is being negotiated on our behalf," Phillip Simon, executive director of the CoC told the Nassau Guardian.

"We don't just want to advise the government, we want to be able to direct it," he added.

Mr Simon’s comments echoed those of the organisation’s president, Mr Winston Rolle after the conclusion of the FTAA negotiations in Miami this year. “The general feeling from persons attending on behalf of the chamber is that the Bahamian private sector and The Bahamas at large is not well prepared for making a decision as it relates to FTAA," Mr Rolle informed reporters last month.

"We think that the government are facilitators and we the private sector and people in specific industries need to make sure that when government is facilitating, they are facilitating with as much information as they can possibly have as it relates to the effect of these decisions on our local industries," the CoC president observed at the conclusion of the Miami meeting.


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