BAHAMAS: New Turn for Development Bank

As published on tribune242.com, Tuesday August 27, 2019.


The Bahamas Development Bank is "wide open to innovation", its managing director Dave Smith said yesterday, noting: "We need to broaden our focus".

Mr. Smith who was is slated to be a speaker at the 16th annual Abaco Business Outlook noted the BDB role goes beyond simply extending credit as the institution also engages in economic development.

Mr. Smith said that assessing the potential of the orange or creative economy and the blue economy - which refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth - marked a "new turn" for the bank.

"We came about in 1974 and in many ways work with a dated piece of legislation which we are now beginning to explore in terms of how can we change it to make the bank more relevant for the economies of the world today. We can't just say we are dealing with agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. We need to broaden our focus."

He added: "Renewable energy is an area wide open and some of the approaches we can take as an institution can be very innovative. The bank is wide open to innovation. We do see new ideas coming forward."

Mr. Smith noted the BDB is seeking to industrialise cascarilla in Acklins, Crooked Island and Samana Cay. The cascarilla plant is used in the production of Campari and can be used in essential oils, medicine and perfumes. According to the bank, The Bahamas is exporting only the cascarilla bark to the United Kingdom, Italy, France, the US and Germany.

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