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Grand Bahama: A Role Model For Privately Funded Infrastructure Development?

Keith Boyfield - March 2013

The recent international conference in Freeport, Grand Bahama was held to discuss the implications for international trade and Caribbean economies stemming from the expansion of the Panama Canal.

Speed Read
  • Grand Bahama, the deepest harbour along the East Cast of the United States, is preparing to capitalise on the doubling in capacity of the Panama Canal due in 2014.
  • The Jones Act bans non US registered ships from docking more than once at US ports, but Grand Bahama can act as a transhipment hub servicing the US, Latin America and the trade lanes to Europe, the Far East and Australasia.
  • The Bahamas has applied to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but a reduction in existing custom duties, which with excise taxes, accounts for nearly 60% of total tax revenue means new revenue sources are urgently required for fiscal health.

Grand Bahama, the deepest harbour along the East Cast of the United States, is set to enjoy a major boom in its economy as it prepares to capitalise on the doubling in capacity of the Panama Canal, a development due to open later next year.

The ramifications of this infrastructure upgrade were discussed at an international conference held in Freeport, Grand Bahama on 20th & 21st February. The event attracted a large number of delegates from the global financial, commercial, property and shipping communities.

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