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The Caribbean Central American Action and the National Emergency Management Agency held a Disaster Management and Recovery Workshop in Freeport, Grand Bahama on April 30, 2009.
Ties between The Bahamas and Norway just got stronger, as the Minister of the Environment unveiled plans to boost the shipping and maritime sector through significant investment and partnerships, leading to the creation of thousands jobs.Responding by email to questions posted to him by Guardian Business, Earl Deveaux said from the Bahamas Shipowners Association meeting in Oslo that the stage is set for the Bahamas Maritime Training Institute.
"The purpose is to train mariners and seafarers of all classes for the Bahamian flagged vessels," he said.
"The property has been acquired. They have selected some staff, are looking to purchase a simulator and hope to be operational within the next 18 months or less."
It's unclear where the institute will be located or the degree of investment in the land, infrastructure and simulator.
Deveaux added that Norway has one of the best classification of societies and have"clusters of competence in maritime and related industries". He felt authorities there were ideal for developing long-term training relationships.
In partnership with the Norwegians, the goal, the minister said, is to train 2,000 Bahamians over the next ten years.
"It would boost the sector enormously and create substantial numbers of new jobs going forward,"Deveaux added.
Meanwhile, the minister also opened the door to other"potentially significant foreign investment"by Norway in the sector. He pointed to the Bahamas Statoil project in Grand Bahama, which owns the South Riding Point storage and transshipment terminal.
Oil storage, transshipment facilities and 50 percent interest in the Freepoint Tug and Towing Service tug boat business are included in the portfolio.
Deveaux said investment such as this is "expected to grow".
"Specifically, the Honorary Consul will develop long-term training and investment opportunities for BMA," he added.
During a speech to key stakeholders this week, the minister also mentioned a "significant partner" in The Bahamas is developing a proposal for a"first rate deep water port in Mayaguana".
He told the audience that this proposal, should it come to fruition, would "augment" the shipping industry.
Deveaux pointed to the rising links and influence of Central American tourism market and specifically Panama's emerging relationship with Panama and Copa Airlines. All of these facts, he said, will "reverberate" through The Bahamas shipping industry.
Deveaux told Guardian Business that the Mayaguana project was still in the exploratory stage and no further details were available at this time.
He pointed out that the main purpose for his presence in Norway was to support the Bahamas Maritime Association in its efforts to grow the Bahamian registry. He revealed that a new chair, George Pateras, was elected to The Bahamas Ship Owners Association.
Piracy, manning, climate change, fleet supply and demand were all discussed.
Freeport, Bahamas - Freepoint Tug & Towing Services (FTTS) is
presently looking to employ over 25 persons in the next 9 months as they
significantly expand their presence in Grand Bahama.
FTTS is 50% owned by SVITZER Americas Ltd. and 50% owned by
South Riding Point (
SSRP) with SVITZER acting as the managing
partner. SVITZER is the world's largest towage operator and has been
in Grand Bahama since 1995
"Currently, FTTS operates a fleet of 7 tugs locally and employs 4
Bahamian shore staff and 41 Bahamian crew..."
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Official events to kick-off the 'Rush For Peace' celebration get underway on Sunday at Our Lucaya Resort with a church service to be conducted by Kingdom Worship Centre, followed by a youth rally at Independence Park. Then attention turns to the much-anticipated Junkanoo parade, scheduled for Friday June 3, at 6pm in downtown Freeport.
Principal sponsor of 'Rush For Peace', The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) has been joined by various corporate entities on the island, all giving their full support to the cultural event. At a recent press conference, Director of Community Relations at the Port, Geneva Rutherford commended the organizers. "We are pleased that they have chosen to offer such a wide variety of components - church service, youth rally, rush-out, Bahamian concert, etc. The expected arrival of so many from throughout the islands of the Bahamas and hundreds of Grand Bahamians attending these events will hopefully bring a great injection of capital to the city with far reaching effects within the greater Grand Bahama community," she said.
Additional sponsors include: Grand Bahama Power Company, Hutchison Port Holdings Bahamas, Ministry of Youth Sports & Culture, Burns House, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Freepoint Tug & Towing Services Ltd, Grand Bahama Shipyard and the Ministry of Tourism.
Describing 'Rush For Peace' as the "kick-off of a heated summer festival season", was Betty Bethel, General Manager-Groups & Events, MOT. "We are proud to be a supporter and endorser of an event of this caliber aimed at promoting peace in our community while providing an opportunity for visitors and residents to enjoy another form of cultural explosion. The initiative behind it speaks to tourism being everybody's business," Bethel expressed.