June 22, 2017
The Bahamas is still "a good place to do business", CEO of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers' Confederation (BCCEC) Edison Sumner told Guardian Business yesterday, after startling revelations about the state of the economy and possible misfeasance from the former administration were revealed during the budget debate in the House of Assembly over the past three weeks.
Sumner said The Bahamas still has a strong economy and wonderful opportunities, however, he insisted that the country has to address its weaknesses and show foreign direct investors it is serious about fixing its "ailments".
While the chamber chief insists The Bahamas is still a good place to invest and do businesses, he explained that company heads worth their salt must do their own due diligence to determine whether the country's current climate is one they want to invest in.
"Every country has it own issues to deal with," he said. "It's a matter of how foreign direct investors perceive the country, but also apart from the perception is what is the reality when they come in.
"Any responsible director will come in and meet with the necessary and relevant people to get their own level of comfort and confidence in that country and that economy.
"So even though this information would be out there in the public domain, you cannot rely on that alone, you have to meet with the relevant players before you make a determination. In this case any responsible foreign investor would do their own due diligence, because some of the information that gets out there in the public domain may be inaccurate... it may be skewed. So for them to get the full confidence they need, they must come in or send their people in to have those conversations."
Sumner said the BCCEC has a lot it can offer the government by way of advice and resources, so that it can properly represent the country's interest with regard to foreign direct investment. However, he insisted that there "has to be a partnership between the government and the private sector".
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