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News Article: BCCEC calls on government to prioritize business building legislation in new agenda

Published by Chester Robards, The Nassau Guardian, October 2nd, 2023

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) is calling on the government to prioritize easing the burden of doing business in The Bahamas in its forthcoming legislative agenda, the chamber’s chairman Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson said in a statement yesterday.

Rutherford-Ferguson said that the impending opening of Parliament is an opportunity for government to bring forward policies that will “positively impact businesses”.

“The business community’s desire is for more business-friendly policies which will create a supportive environment to navigate economic challenges,” said Rutherford-Ferguson.

“In today’s challenging economy, it is imperative that policies are tabled in the House of Assembly that promote growth and sustainability within the business sector.

“We should not forget that businesses are still challenged by legacy issues such as the rising cost to do business, high electricity costs and power outages.”

She added that a vexing issue facing the business community is the intermittent operability of Bahamas Customs’ ClicktoClear system, which has been delaying the delivery of goods to companies.

Rutherford-Ferguson also lamented the ongoing frustrations from businesses on flooding issues and the disrepair of roads that impede access to businesses.

“There is overall frustration with the difficulty in doing business in our country,” she said.

She said: “The BCCEC believes that business-friendly policies ought to prioritize reducing regulatory hurdles, foster innovation, address skills gap, grow our manufacturing sector and contribute to the on-going strengthening of other more mature sectors.

“This ought to occur while the government, through legislative policies, create a conducive atmosphere for businesses to flourish.

“A focus on tax reform and incentives, access to capital, and the removal of unnecessary bureaucracy can significantly aid businesses in our quest for growth.”

Rutherford-Ferguson said collaboration between government and business in crafting policy will be essential to aiding economic development and ensuring fair regulatory oversight.

“Ultimately, the BCCEC believes that creating policies which keep the above in mind will determine not only the ability of our businesses to survive but to thrive in the face of economic challenges,” she said.

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