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Invest in Grand Bahama

The strategic choice for forward-looking companies

Invest in Grand Bahama
The strategic choice for forward-looking companies

For half a century, forward-looking international companies have been locating themselves in Freeport, Grand Bahama, taking advantage of business and lifestyle benefits that are not available anywhere else in the region.

Freeport is operated by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) as a duty-free zone under the terms of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. The agreement was first signed in 1955 between the Bahamian government, the GBPA and Freeport businesses licensed by the GBPA to develop 50,000 acres (78 sq miles) of unused Crown land as an international port and industrial centre. Later, the GBPA obtained more land from the Crown and private sources for a total holding of 149,000 acres (233 sq miles).

The benefits of operating in Grand Bahama include proximity to the vibrant US market, a deep-water harbour capable of handling the world’s largest ocean-going vessels, a busy container port with up-to-date equipment and an international airport. Grand Bahama also boasts many fine large and small hotels, including the Grand Lucayan Bahamas and the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach hotels, both on beautiful beaches, as well as numerous timeshare properties.

Freeport offers the same benefits that are available in any first-world city, including: state-of-the-art communications, access to broadband Internet and miles of well-maintained highways and roads. Separate residential communities include gracious homes, condos and rental properties. Among the amenities are bicycle and walking paths, nearby golf courses, schools, medical facilities and easy boating access by canals to the island’s famous clear ocean waters.

From bust to boom
The sleepy island came to life when Wallace Groves, a Virginia businessman, bought a failing lumber company in 1946, reorganized it and transformed it into a successful enterprise. By the early 1950s, The Abaco Lumber Co was the largest employer in The Bahamas.

Groves then envisioned an industrial city rising up among the pines. His first step was to create the GBPA and to negotiate and sign an agreement with the colonial government in Nassau–the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. Under the agreement, Groves received a grant of 50,000 acres and undertook to dredge a harbour as the centrepiece of a free-trade industrial area where businesses would be exempt from taxes on profits, income, capital gains and real estate, as well as duty on goods imported by licensees for their businesses.

Strategic location
Grand Bahama’s strategic location is its biggest business advantage. It is a short plane trip from Florida.

At the heart of Freeport’s economy is the harbour. It is the deepest, largest and most strategically located international shipping port in the region, accessible by the world’s largest ships. Within this harbour system is one of the biggest container ports in the world. There is also significant dry dockage available for cruise ship repair and refurbishing. The harbour is accessible from most major trading regions of the world.

The Sea/Air Business Center, located near the international airport, is ideal for warehousing and distribution businesses. It is expected to be a fast growing enterprise as it combines access to air and sea transport, as well as enjoying all the benefits of operating in a tax-free zone.

Other key assets of Freeport include excellent amenities and infrastructure. Progressive zoning has ensured that there is an appropriate separation between residential and commercial areas. Residences ranging from middle-class suburban homes to luxury communities, with direct boat access to the Atlantic, are available in Freeport and the adjacent area. The city features wide streets, beautifully landscaped parks and attractive recreation areas. Traffic congestion is unheard of–the average commute is just seven minutes.

There is a recently upgraded all digital telecommunications system in place, with high-grade cable service and high-speed Internet access supplied to all homes, hotels, banks, legal and accounting firms, retail companies and government agencies.

lifestyle benefits
The natural beauty of Grand Bahama island, and the lifestyle it affords, is arguably one of its most valuable assets. Many visitors, smitten by the island’s physical charms, have taken up residence. With over 80 miles of gorgeous beaches, a pleasing climate, national parks to explore and many outdoor sports to enjoy, Freeport is a fine place to call home.

For the water enthusiast there is world-renowned reef and wreck diving. Windsurfing is a popular sport along the island’s southern shoreline. Sailing, sportfishing, snorkelling, swimming and a dolphin experience are only a few of the aquatic activities available in Freeport. There is also a lively equestrian culture on Grand Bahama with riding instruction available.

If a quality lifestyle, combined with great investment opportunities, in a vacation atmosphere sounds appealing, then duty-free Grand Bahama is just what you’ve been looking for.



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