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Bahamas Draws Up National Maritime Plan

by Jason Gorringe,, London

14 February 2013

The Bahamas Government is to draft in support from several of its ministries to significantly expand the territory's maritime industry, and generate associated business for other areas of the local economy, stakeholders at the territory's First National Maritime Workshop were told.

Outlining a National Strategy for the maritime sector, the island's Minister for Transport and Aviation, Glenys Hanna Martin told attendees that the Government aims to unlock the significant economic growth potential of the maritime industry, and foster the development of maritime fields such as container transshipment, logistics and ship repair industries.

On behalf of her Ministry, she discussed the Government's planned legislative agenda in respect of adopting the recommendations of the International Maritime Organization's Member State Audit undertaken in February 2011. She emphasized the need for the Bahamas to maintain a world-leading regulatory environment in order to create a conducive arena for maritime companies and associated businesses to grow.

She announced a review into the management and commercial structure of the Prince George Dock, the territory's cruise ship port, to build upon the four million passengers who arrive at the facility each year, and transform it into a modern, industry-leading facility.

She highlighted the Bahamas's comparative advantages, including its highly trained workforce, supported by joint maritime training initiatives with the United States.

She announced that she was in discussions with the territory's Minister for Financial Services, Ryan Pinder, on a joint approach to position the Bahamas as a maritime services hub for international shipping companies.

Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama, spoke of the need to "continue to strive for excellence, constantly upgrade our skills, improve our standards while aggressively enforcing our maritime laws if we are going to be seen as a global player and capitalize on the economic benefits this lucrative industry has to offer."

TAGS: marine

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