Bowe: Country must target exports

EyeWitness News BusinessApril 15, 2020April 15, 2020 at 3:35 am Natario McKenzie

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas must look at what it can export with regards to economic diversification, a well known accountant has said. Gowon Bowe told Eyewitness News such exports need to generate foreign currency and allow for economic activity beyond the size of the population. “When we look at diversification we have to look at what it is we can export that can generate foreign currency that will allow economic activity that is beyond the size of our population,” he said. “It is not as simple as persons believe.” Bowe said:v“Sometimes we throw out the term diversification but don’t necessarily appreciate what it means. When we speak about what tourism represents for us it represents several factors. Firstly it represents our export which we sometimes overlook. “We adapted to tourism simply because of what was there. We had good weather, attractive beaches and a tremendous amount of natural environment. It’s a source of foreign currency. It allows us to peg our Bahamian dollar with the US dollar.” Bowe continued: “We need to be looking at industries, cottage industries of sufficient size and scale that we as Bahamians can become owners in that allow us to export to the world to import import currency. “None of us have a crystal ball or the intellectual capacity to devise an entire new economy for The Bahamians but it will require the persons with experience in industry coming together to say what it is that we may not have been thinking about. Are there things we could have been exporting? We have to look at what is practical and realistic.” According to Bowe persons will have to invest, develop ideas, work to bring them fruition. “What COVID has done has hit the pause button,” he said. “What it has highlighted is that we have a tremendous amount of labor intensive businesses. Realistically is that going to change or do we need to start looking at other industries that will take advantage of that same labour and then develop greater intellectual property. “You have to have persons will to invest, develop ideas, work to bring them fruition. It is not about looking at any one source as being the saviour but how do you put all those sources together to create economic activity.”

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