GB Chamber of Commerce
Does the Hawksbill Creek Agreement matter?
May 15, 2015 - 10:21:02 AM

Dillon Knowles

What is the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA)?

In 1955, satisfied that the dredging and construction of a deep water harbour and turning basin at Hawksbill Creek, and the establishment of factories and industrial undertakings would be of great economic benefit to the country, the Government entered into the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) with the GBPA

Free Trade Zone

  • Effectively, the HCA created a FREE TRADE ZONE (FTZ) in the Port Area of Freeport/Lucaya.
  • There are more than 3,500 FTZs in 135 countries
  • Freeport/Lucaya was a forerunner of FTZs
  • By 1960s, south and east Asian countries, including communist China, implementing their own FTZs.

Are Free Trade Zones Beneficial?
*Adapted from Michael Schuman

Between 1960 and 2012, ten south and east Asian countries, including communist China, utilized free trade zones to significantly surpass The Bahamas in economic development.
*Adapted from Michael Schuman
Between 1965 and 1999, the East and South Asian countries nurtured their free trade zones; their economic growth exceeded that of the rest of the world including high income nations.  Other countries have since joined the movement.

Is Freeport’s FTZ Beneficial?

Although hampered by administrative issues, Freeport’s FTZ resulted in:

Development of a 230 sq. mile city

◦    400 miles of paved roads/400 miles of unpaved
◦    World class airport, harbour, container port, power plant, water plant,  & telecommunications

Export industries (wealth generators)

◦    Syntex … PharmaChem
◦    BORCO
◦    Bahamas Cement
◦    Polymers International
◦    Bahama Princess
◦    Grand Lucayan
◦    2,500+ Licensees, 90% Bahamian owned

Supports 50,000+ residents, providing taxes to Treasury

None of this would exist without the HCA and its free trade zone.

View the full power-point presentation below, attached.

Watch a video of a presentation made by Dillon Knowles at a Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Freeport.
View on Youtube

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