Monday, February 28, 2011

Laing: GB’s Economy Will Improve

BY KARISSMA ROBINSON
The Bahama Journal

State Minister For Finance Zhivargo Laing (Journal File Photo).


Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing says that some aspects of Grand Bahama’s sluggish economy will get slightly better within the next 12 months.
Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing says that some aspects of Grand Bahama’s sluggish economy will get slightly better within the next 12 months.

"Some areas might actually experience further challenges but I expect BORCO and Stat Oil to continue to add additional jobs, sub-contract business, rental revenue and some broad spending to Grand Bahama’s economy," said Minister Laing said as he addressed scores the Grand Bahama Business Outlook yesterday.

"Two consecutive sales transaction of BORCO over the last two years has been a great blessing to the public treasury, accounting for some $120 million in unexpected revenue to the government from stamp taxes."

Mr. Laing said the construction of a new power plant on the island would also add to its economic fortunes.

The minister also predicted the cruise business might continue to perform well.

"The cruise business will continue to perform well but the stopover business is likely to continue struggling, though some gains may come as the US economy continues to pick up steam," said Minister Laing.

"One caveat to this is the possibility of increase oil prices, which seems more likely with the developments in the Middle East."

Minister Laing said hotel or resort developments on the island remain dim.

However, he said that hundreds of Grand Bahamian construction workers will find employment on the Baha Mar project over the next twelve months.

"Overall, employment prospects in some areas of construction will likely expand over the next twelve months while new employment in other areas of the economy will remain subdued," he said.

Meantime, Minister Laing appealed to Grand Bahamians to abandon their negativity surrounding the islands economy.

"We must abandon the negativity that saps our energy and muddies our will. We must state emphatically and with faith, our intention and desire to move forward and to achieve these potentialities. When we do so with conviction, we will find the means to fulfill these desires," he said.

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