In keeping with Government’s commitment to Public/Private partnerships for growing the economy, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Grand Bahama, and Mr. Edison Sumner, CEO of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, led a delegation of Bahamian public and private sector officials on a trade Mission to the Washington DC and Baltimore area in the United States on March 5-7th, 2018.
The Trade Mission explored the promotion of collaborative business links, both at the national and state level in the DC and Maryland area, so as to enhance the prospects for Bahamian trade and investment with the Washington DC area. This was accomplished through the provision of opportunities for high-level and sector specific dialogue, networking and match-making.
The Mission focused on Financial Services; Tourism & Creative Industry; Agriculture & Fisheries; Shipping & Logistics; Brewing (rum and beer); ICT and Real Estate. In addition to exchanging information on national foreign investment and tourism opportunities in The Bahamas, industries specific to Grand Bahamas such as technology, transshipment and manufacturing/industrial were also highlighted for investor consideration.
The delegation engaged in high level dialogue with senior US Chamber of Commerce and US Department of Commerce representatives, respectively, to discuss opportunities for cooperation with trade facilitation and business expansion between the United States and The Bahamas as well as executives at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on public and private sector initiatives that might be of benefit for the strengthening the business climate in The Bahamas. A trade mission showcase reception was also convened at IDB on March 6th to further promote business opportunities in The Bahamas.
On March 6th and 7th, the delegation participated in high level business dialogue with the DC and Baltimore Chambers of Commerce, respectively. The meetings with the Chambers also included sector specific business to business matchmaking sessions with local companies interested in doing business in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation also signed Memoranda of Understanding with both the DC and Baltimore Chambers of Commerce, providing the framework for long term collaborative efforts towards business development and enhanced two-way trade. It is anticipated that the Baltimore and DC Chambers will reciprocate the trade mission with their own missions to The Bahamas in 2019.
Caption 1 – Minister of State Kwasi Thompson (left) and Bahamas Chamber CEO Edison Sumer (right) chat with US Chamber Senior Vice President for the Americas Neil Herrington (center) in advance of dialogue between the US Chamber and The Bahamas delegation on March 5th.
Caption 2- The Bahamas delegation after dialogue at the US Chamber of Commerce on March 5th. At center is US Chamber Senior Vice President for the Americas Neil Herrington.
Caption 3- The Bahamas delegation in dialogue at the US Department of Commerce on March 5th. The US Department of Commerce side was headed by Acting Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Alex Peacher. Other representatives from the Department of Commerce were from Select USA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The US EXIM Bank was also present.
Caption 4 – Bahamian delegation participating in dialogue and networking at the DC Chamber of Commerce on March 6th. At center are Bahamas Ambassador Sidney Collie; Mr. Vincent Orange Sr, President of the DC Chamber of Commerce; Minister of State Kwasi Thompson and Bahamas Chamber CEO Edison Sumner.
Caption 5 – Bahamian representatives at sector specific matchmaking sessions at the DC Chamber of Commerce on March 6th.
Caption 6 – Executive Director for Caribbean at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mr. Jerry Butler, leading discussions with the Bahamian delegation during a meeting at the IDB on the business and investment climate in The Bahamas on March 6th.
Caption 7 – Bahamian entertainer Mr. Ray Smith at Trade Mission Showcase Reception at the IDB on March 6th.
Caption 8 – Minister of State Kwasi Thompson delivers remarks to Baltimore Chamber of Commerce delegates on March 7th.
Caption 9 – Bahamian and Baltimore delegates after signing of Chamber to Chamber MOU with the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce on March 7th. At center are Baltimore Chamber President Eben Frederick and Bahamas Chamber CEO Edison Sumner.