Government will not grant free trade zone in Andros
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has announced the government will not grant approval for a free trade zone in Andros, amid pushback from the Opposition and environmental groups.
Has public outcry forced the government to make this decision?
“The media and other social platforms recently published stories on an investor’s draft proposal for Andros. In the draft proposal there are concepts for the development of half a million acres of land, aragonite harvesting, medical research facilities, air and seaports, and other developments, “ Minnis said today during a national address.
Last week, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement acknowledging that the draft proposal was submitted but the proposal has not been formally analysed nor reviewed to determine its viability, nor has it been presented to the National Economic Council for consideration.
“Let me be very clear for all to hear. This Government will not grant a free-trade zone in Andros. Nor will we alienate or sell-off vast tracts of Bahamas land
My Government has not approved the proposal,” according to Minnis.
“We welcome Bahamian and foreign investors submitting proposals that are win-wins for the people of The Bahamas and for the investors.”
“At this time of great economic hardship we need all the appropriate investment we can get. However, my Government will not approve concepts from Bahamians or foreigners we think are not in the best interest of the Bahamian people,” he said.
Observers question if this point is subjective, as Minnis did not directly say his government has no intention of approving the proposal.
He said he would not sell off 500,000 acres of land. Would the government consider selling fewer acres of land though?