Freeport Grand Bahama
Freeport is a 230-square mile free trade zone on Grand Bahama Island, established in 1955. The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited operates the free trade zone under special powers conferred by the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Act.
Freeport is the business nucleus of Grand Bahama Island. Industry and tourism are the twin engines of Freeport’s economy. The GBPA successfully attracted investors in these two areas while its sister company the Grand Bahama Development Company (DEVCO), owned by a joint venture between the owners of the Port Authority and Hutchison Whampoa, make land available for lease or sale for development. Under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Act, businesses in the free trade zone pay no taxes on profits, capital gains, inheritance, income, earnings, distribution, or on exported goods.
Today, Hutchison’s 740 room Our Lucaya Resort and the smaller Lucaya Reef Resort, with two 18-hole golf courses, a casino and easy access to the Port Lucaya Shopping Mall, serve as a focal point of Freeport’s tourism sector which includes a number of small boutique hotels including the intimate Pelican Bay Hotel. Freeport is a popular location for second and vacation homes. Recently, Freeport became the host of The Bahamas’ first off-shore medical school when Ross University opened its first campus during 2009. West End, another community on Grand Bahama Island, is the site of significant tourist related development. Old Bahama Bay, a small boutique hotel, offers a high-end secluded getaway just 64 miles off the coast of Florida. The hotel is being integrated into a multi-hotel, condominium and single family residential golfing and marina community.
Grand Bahama Power Company, in partnership with Emera Inc. and Marubeni TAQA Caribbean Ltd., are undertaking major equipment upgrades and introducing the latest in digital technology with a view to providing reliable, affordable power for the free trade zone as well as for other commercial and residential areas. Freeport has a long tradition of light manufacturing and industry dating back to the 1960s when oil refining and storage, cement manufacture and pharmaceutical manufacturing first located on the island. Today no oil refining is undertaken, however, oil storage and transshipment has expanded substantially. Pharmaceutical companies continue to operate in the Port Area along with manufacturers of medical and dental implements and manufacturers of Styrofoam.
Containers, Transshipment and Ship repair
Grand Bahama’s strategic location at the gateway to the Americas is a major incentive to industrial development. Freeport is only a 35-minute plane ride from southern Florida, and its harbour is the closest offshore port to the United States. The free trade zone is well-positioned for global commerce, located at the crossroads of routes between Europe, North and South American Trade links and international shipping transiting through the Panama Canal. Freeport Harbour and Container Port is one of the largest man-made harbours in the world and the deepest harbour in the region. It is accessible to even the largest ocean going vessels. Businesses at the harbour include wet docking and ship repair. Freeport Container Port is a major container transshipment hub between the Eastern Gulf coasts of the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, South America and trade lanes to European, Mediterranean, Far Eastern and Australasian destinations. The port is privately owned and operated by Hutchison Port Holdings, the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with interests in 25 countries.
Grand Bahama International Airport
Grand Bahama International Airport is just 35 minutes from South Florida. It is one of the largest privately-owned airports in the world, and enjoys state-of-the-art facilities, including an 11,000-feet-long runway that accommodates international jet aircraft daily. Refueling and hub operations are managed by The Grand Bahama Airport Company Limited at its full service terminal, complete with pre-clearance facilities for U.S. customs and immigration. Freeport’s airport averages nearly 50,000 flights each year. Airlines with regularly scheduled flights include: American Airlines, US Airways, Gulf Stream/Continental, Delta, Spirit and Bahamasair. Direct or hub flights connect Freeport with Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Charlotte, Philadelphia and New York, USA.
Grand Bahama Sea/Air Business Centre
Located within a 4-mile zone are the Airport, Harbour, Container Port and Sea/Air Business Centre. This 786 acre industrial park development is situated in a tax free Trade Zone and is an ideal location for large warehousing, distribution, light manufacturing and assembly operations. There are no export, excise, realty or business taxes, as well as no taxes on profits, capital gains or income.
Quality of Life
Freeport is approximately the size of Singapore, with more than 400 miles of excellent paved roads, as well as miles of well-engineered waterways bordering private homes. The average commute to work is just 7 minutes. The area also enjoys modern educational and health facilities, cable television, cultural events, international sports, extensive leisure facilities, duty free shopping and cosmopolitan nightlife.
A wide variety of sports are also available, including golf, tennis, squash racquets, American football, soccer, rugby, cricket, horseback riding and polo, softball, baseball, volleyball, netball, darts and bowling. Water sports include sailing, fishing, swimming, diving, waterskiing and windsurfing. Grand Bahama is home to a National Park and to an extensive botanical garden – the Garden of the Groves. More than 200 species of birds are sighted here regularly, and the area is home to 36 species and varieties of wild orchids. Freeport is a well planned, clean city; its fresh water table is considered capable of supporting a quarter of a million people.
Recently Approved Investors
- Buckeye Partners, L.P., owner of one of the largest independent refined petroleum pipeline systems in the US and 69 refined products terminals, has acquired 100% of the BORCO fuel storage facility. It plans to invest US $400 million over 3 years into the facility.
- StatoilHydro ASA, a Norwegian based international energy company, in 2009, acquired South Riding Point crude oil storage and transshipment terminal in East End, Grand Bahama, and has commenced a US $150 million upgrade and expansion.
- The Sur Mer & Old Bahama Bay Development, situated on 1,957 acres, in West End, Grand Bahama, will include 870 residential units, 4,400 hotel and condominium units, 2 golf courses, 2 marinas and a casino.
BAHAMAS INVESTMENT AUTHORITY
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
P.O. BOX CB-10980
PHONE: (242) 327-5826
FAX: (242) 327-5806
WEB SITE: www.bahamas.gov.bs/bia
THE GRAND BAHAMA PORT AUTHORITY
P.O. BOX F-42666
FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA THE BAHAMAS
FAX: (242) 351-41694
WEB SITE: www.gbpa.com
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