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News Report: LET’S GET TO BUSINESS: BCCEC outlines priority issues for new govt to address

Written by Nataro McKenzie, Eyewitness Business News, September 23rd, 2021

“We have already reached out to the new ministers regarding our initial meetings and have had positive feedback”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Improving the ease of doing business, lowering the cost of doing business and tax reform are the three key areas the local business community hopes to address with the new Davis-led administration, a top private sector representative said yesterday.

Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) chairperson, told Eyewitness News: “Currently, the business community has a lot of issues stemming from the impact of COVID-19, such as navigating through the restrictions, disruption in supply chains, increased shipping costs and a reduced workforce as a result of persons contracting COVID.”

She added: “One of the issues that is high on our list is the cost of doing business. It’s been long said that the cost of operating and maintaining a business in this country is expensive.

“Looking at the cost of doing business, we have to consider issues such as the cost of energy and the cost of rent because many businesses do not own the premises from which they operate.”

Rutherford-Ferguson noted that also high on the BCCEC’s agenda is working with the government to address the ease of doing business.

The Bahamas was ranked 119 out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking, which ranks countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation and stronger protections of property rights.

Rutherford-Ferguson said: “Digitization of government services has had a positive impact. There are still other services [that] can be digitized and further optimized.”

She further noted: “Another key area of interest for us is tax reform. We note the global push towards a 15 percent corporate tax.

“It is important for us to look at how we can reform the current tax structure. We have already reached out to the new ministers regarding our initial meetings and have had positive feedback.”

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