page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138
page 139
page 140

22The Bahamas Investorthat all non-Bahamians who purchaseproperty in The Bahamas get the approvalthat they require. They either need apermit or a registration certificate and weprocess all of those and send theapplications forward to the InvestmentsBoard, which makes the decision, andthen we issue the respective certificateor permit. Q:What requirementsmust be met for aproject to gain approval?A:First and foremost it has to be in anarea that is targeted for foreigninvestors. Then it has to meet ourminimum capital investment.Once those requirements are met, wehave to start doing due diligence. Welook at all the data provided, determinethe level of risk and investigate furtherdepending on our findings. If a projectmentions cutting inland, that is likelygoing to need an environmental impactassessment and environmentalmanagement plan, which are reviewedby the Ministry of the Environment. A project that includes a golf courseor a marina takes more time, but wewant golf courses and marinas in certainareas, so we have to go through what'srequired to get them approved. If yourratio of employing Bahamians to non-Bahamians is significantly higher thenthat is also a very good sign. SometimesBahamians may not be available to fillparticular positions because of the level ofexpertise, but work permit applicationsare processed based on needs.Q:What recent trends in FDI have you noticed?A:Rather than constructing a $10-million boutique hotel, investors areopting to buy three houses and rentthem. That is a very popular trend atthe moment and we are looking tofurther grow our second-home market. In project financing, there is a trendwhere sponsorship for commercial projectsis coming from financial institutions inAsia. But, I have noticed that persons whoare seeking to invest now are using equityas opposed to financing. For the most partit is their money or it is their partner'smoney.They are looking at smallerdevelopments, the kind the governmentis particularly interested in. What I find is that investors wantsomething they can love at the end of theday. They find a beautiful beach and theyfall in love with it and they want to investin a development that is personal tothem. That is why I think they are usingequity to do so. They are quite preparedto put $15 million or $20 million oftheir own funds into the ground. Q:Any recent policyamendments making it easier for investors to live and do business in The Bahamas?A:If you own a home in The Bahamasvalued at $1.5 million or more you canreceive accelerated consideration forpermanent residency. The PrimeMinister in April set a time period of 21days for approval.We raised the level of minimum capitalinvestments from $250,000 to $500,000.Major developers can also receiveaccelerated consideration for permanentresidency, particularly those involved inprojects worth tens of millions.Q:What does the future hold for the BIA?A:The BIA has expanded its staffcomplement over the last year. We haveobtained particular skill sets includingan attorney and advertising expert. Theidea is to facilitate the workload and theefficient service we are able to provide.As a part of the e-government initiative,we are now making available online allof the forms used by the BIA. Ourobjective is that soon investors would beable to submit their project proposalsonline. The easier it is for someone to dobusiness in the country, the morebusiness they will do.COURTESY BAHA MARGardiner with Prime Minister HubertIngraham (right) and Sarkis Izmirlian, BahaMar chairman and chief executive officerINVESTING