|Authored by:||Matt Maura|
|Source:||Bahamas Information Services|
|Date:||July 17, 2017|
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas will assist wherever possible to ensure that the opportunities that lay within the shipping industry at the global level are taken advantage of.
Addressing members of the media following a tour of the LJM Maritime Academy Monday (July 17, 2017), Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis said the global shipping industry is a “new frontier” with untapped potential for The Bahamas.
Prime Minister Minnis said the industry does not only provide great opportunities for economic development for The Bahamas, but can also create “great job opportunities” for untold numbers of Bahamians.
International shipping experts say they expect a shortfall of 147,500 in the number of Officers needed onboard these ships by the year 2025. Officer categories that are in short supply include engineer officers at management level and officers for specialized ships such as chemical tankers and LNG and LPG Carriers.
The Report further said that from 2005 to 2015, the total number of seafarers grew from 1,187,000 in 2005 to 1,647,500 in 2015.
“This is a great market, but we have not tapped into the shipping industry the way we should have,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “All of the facilities are here for training and the students -- after completing the course -- are well qualified and can perform on any of the ships that are registered or ships that travel throughout the world.
“When you look at the type of income that they make, great resources and income can be sent back to The Bahamas as remittances and that will help to grow our economy,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
Prime Minister Minnis said the Government will do all it can to ensure that Bahamians are given every opportunity for employment in the shipping industry.
“What I would ask the Institute to do is to keep a record of the number of students who enter and the numbers who are successful in job placement because once you have those statistics available and at your disposal, [and] once that percentage is high, then not only the government, but the private sector will be more inclined to sponsor and assist students from within The Bahamas to enter the Institute, because they will know that the employment success rate is so high that you are essentially guaranteed those individuals will be employed upon completion.
“We see a new employment frontier and we will most certainly take advantage of this new frontier,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
According to International Maritime officials, the international shipping industry is the “lifeblood” of the global economy, responsible for the carriage of around 90 percent of the world trade.
“Without shipping, intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials, and the import/export of affordable food and manufactured goods would simply not be possible -- half the world would starve and the other half would freeze,” those officials say.
“Thanks to the growing efficiency of shipping as a mode of transport and increased economic liberalization, prospects for the industry's further growth continue to be strong.”
Bahamian officials at the LJM Maritime Academy said Maritime Affairs could soon rival both the tourism and financial services sectors, the original mainstays of the Bahamian economy.
“This, together with the country’s absence of income tax and corporate tax means that The Bahamas’ Register sits very comfortably alongside a wide range of other offshore activities,” they added.
|Dr. Brendamae Cleare, President, LJM Maritime Academy, leads Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis on a tour of the Institute's Machine Shop during the Prime Minister's visit to the facility Monday, July 17, 2017. The visit to the Machine Shop was one of several stops Prime Minister Minnis and his delegation made during their tour of the facility. Other stops included visits to the Full Mission Bridge where visitors got a real life seafaring experience via simulation and the Radar/ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display System) Room utilized by Deck Navigation Cadets. Prime Minister Minnis was accompanied by Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd; Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames; Minister of Transport, the Hon. Frankie Campbell and Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Lanisha Rolle, along with senior government officials. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)|