Bahamas Trade Information Service Portal Launch Days Away


FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Minister of Financial Services and Local Government C.V. Hope Strachan was in Grand Bahama on Friday to begin the process of educating the business community on The Bahamas Trade Information Service Portal, which is set to launch on April 6, 2017.

Minister Strachan joined the minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville, at a press conference at the Ministry for Grand Bahama to announce the much-anticipated project.

She explained that the portal is a joint initiative of the government of The Bahamas and The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation.

“The world over, governments and the private sector have come to recognize that the government alone cannot provide an enabling environment for private sector growth. It requires collaboration and dialogue between both the public and private sectors to create an environment that will lead to meaningful economic development.

“Both the government of The Bahamas and The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation recognize the importance of supporting local exporters and importers to expand trading opportunities,” Minister Strachan stated.

She noted that in response to concerns that access to reliable trade information is a major constraint to increasing trading opportunities, the ministry and the chamber partnered to develop a trade information portal.

She explained that this portal is a unique online platform that provides market intelligence and information to Bahamian entrepreneurs, aimed at filling the information gap and thereby creating new opportunities for trade.

Continuing, the minister advised that in October of 2016 after an international bidding process, the International Trade Centre (ITC), a specialized joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, was retained to provide the services to design and develop a trade portal for The Bahamas.

The ITC engaged the company Globally Cool of the Netherlands to assist in the design and development of the portal.

Two consultants from that firm also travelled with the minister’s team to Grand Bahama on Friday to provide an education on the importance of the trade tool, leading up to the April 6, 2017, launch.

“The ministry and chamber are confident that the trade information portal will provide Bahamian businesses with powerful information and technical support needed to identify emerging export markets with impressive growth and untapped potential,” she stated.

According to Minister Strachan, the establishment of a trade information portal is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to drive diversification of the Bahamian economy by expanding trade with regional, hemispheric and international trading partners.

“The objective of the portal is to create a one-stop shop for relevant and current national, regional and international trade information.

“By creating a centralized location for vital trade information, the portal will serve as an important business facilitation tool by reducing the cost and time required to access reliable trade information, and, in turn, improve the ease of doing business in The Bahamas,” she stated.

A critical feature of the trade portal is said to be the Exporter Directory of Bahamian Exporters and Potential Exporters, providing Bahamian companies with an opportunity to showcase their products to potential international buyers.

Currently, the use of the portal and registering on the exporter directory is free to all businesses in the country. She strongly urges Bahamians and, in particular, Grand Bahamian exporters and potential exporters to register to have their businesses appear in the exporter directory.

Businesses interested in having their business presented to the world through this invaluable tool are encouraged to contact representatives at the Ministry of Financial Services or the Chamber of Commerce.

Minister Darville said he believes the new portal will be a major game changer for The Bahamas’ export companies and will have a positive impact on the local economy, while fundamentally changing the way in which Bahamians do business in international markets.

“As a result of accessing this portal, local Grand Bahamians will be able to save the costs of attending global trade shows. Instead, they will be able to showcase their work as well as their products and produce in international markets while also giving international buyers access to the local Grand Bahamian market, all with the click of a button,” he stated.

Ministers Darville and Strachan met with officials from the Grand Bahama Port Authority to introduce the portal on Friday morning. They were also expected to update the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce on the project.

Simon Lewis
Bahamas Information Services