If you start your day with a quick look through the morning paper, odds are you will feel sad and depressed or revert to a holding pattern something like a state of denial.
Neither state of mind will contribute to an appreciation of the causes for worry familiar to most. Falling tourist numbers and increased crime are facts not to be ignored. Behind the numbers is real concern for the decline in morality from top to bottom in Bahamian culture.
On June 21st at a Symposium arranged by the Nassau Institute Mr. Michael Fairbanks and Ms. Marcela Escobari of the OTF Group gave attendees something positive to think about.
In a powerful presentation they laid out three "Agenda's" for the Bahamas. First was "Competitive Theory, second was "Avoiding the Commodity Trap" and third was "Knowing the Customer.
Competitiveness is the preeminent issue for every nation and it requires shared understanding of the meaning of competition and the willingness of both individuals and the state to deploy resources to achieve a competitive advantage.
In an era of total competition, government as the master strategist cannot work. Paternalism and redistribution of income policies are negative for innovation required for the Bahamas to be competitive. Sun, Sand and Sea are no longer sufficient to sustain and provide a return for the standard of living Bahamians have a right to expect.
Bermuda and Jamaica were cited as economies that had to rethink their "business" plan and find new ways for income creation. Both achieved significant improvements as a result of consultations with Escobari and Fairbanks. They summed up with eight imperatives for creating change in the Bahamas.
Productivity is key as is the requirement that government not create barriers to competition. Protectionism and other impediments typical of the "old" economy must end.
Please click here for a link to a pdf of the OTF presentation for a descriptive outline of the presentation.