Remarks by Ms. Lisa A. Johnson, Chargé d’Affaires
Good evening. It is a pleasure to be here, and I am delighted to see so many familiar faces in the crowd tonight. Thank you Robbie Meyers, Edison Sumner, and all those at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation, and Palm Cay for organizing tonight’s event and for inviting my Embassy colleagues and I to join you for this entertaining and informative evening. Thank you also to Carnival President and CEO Arnold Donald for joining us. Like you all, I look forward to hearing what he has to say.
The fact that I already know so many of you, after just three short months in The Bahamas, is because of the relationships that the U.S. Embassy and American companies enjoy with The Bahamas’ business community. That is the way it should be, given that Americans and Bahamians know each other so well and work together every single day.
It is no accident that The Bahamas is one of the United States’ 50 most significant trading partners. It is also one of the top ten places in the world that Americans visited in 2012, according to the Today show and travel experts at Expedia.com.
In addition to the millions of Americans that visit this beautiful country each year, thousands of American companies – including some of the biggest and most recognized U.S. brands – do business here every day The Embassy’s Commercial Section regularly hears from more companies that want to come here to invest and do business.
We are proud of the work that we have done with our partners here, including the Bahamian government, to help make The Bahamas a more business friendly place. But, of course, we recognize that there is more to do.
We will continue to work with our friends to help ensure security for residents and visitors alike, to encourage a growth-oriented business and investment climate, and to protect The Bahamas’ stunning natural beauty through smart environmental policies, which will help further expand the tourism sector, while also opening up other opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs.
Thank you, and I look forward to enjoying the rest of the evening with you.