By Dana Niland
The Bahamas has made no secret of its ambition to turn the island of Grand Bahama into a tech hub and innovation center, and its plans got a big boost with the recent announcement that GIBC Digital would be launching a new office on the island.
GIBC provides digital solutions in automation, data intelligence, cyber and fraud, customer experience as well as regulation and compliance.
“This government has been focused on making technology the third pillar of our economy and it has been our vision to advance not just the economy, but the digital economy in Grand Bahama,” said Minister of State J. Kwasi Thompson. “Today, we are seeing some of the fruits of the Grand Bahama Technology Hub Initiative.
“This is a project which advances the entire Technology vision for Grand Bahama. It involves capital investment, providing employment, and providing the necessary training in the technology industry,” he said.
“Today’s announcement by GIBC represents a significant investment in Grand Bahama’s economy,” he said. “GIBC intends to invest a minimum of $2.5 million this year to establish its office in Grand Bahama.”
“I am excited that this investment will enable the hiring of 50 persons to work along with the company both locally and regionally,” he said.
The hiring process has already begun.
“We are further pleased that this investment also involves training of Grand Bahamians for the technology industry,” said Thompson. “In addition to the initial investment, GIBC has indicated they will invest another $1 million through deployment of employees from the United States, the UK, and other areas to The Bahamas to conduct training and direct work.
“GIBC anticipates that for each skilled job created, another 2.5 jobs will result in our local service, and tourism sectors, resulting in an estimated economic impact of over $10 million in the first year alone,” he said. “Further, GIBC’s has expressed plans to expand its Bahamian operations to over 150 employees and build a state-of-the-art, sustainable Data and AI center within three years, bringing an economic impact of $50m by 2020.”
GIBC is one the first companies to benefit from the Commercial Enterprise Act in Grand Bahama.
They have been granted approval, which has enabled them to set-up their office quickly.
“Grand Bahama should be pleased and proud that a global technology company has chosen not only to set up an office, but to invest in the lives of our people, and to be a part of this important technology initiative,” said the minister.
President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Ian Rolle, described the day as “significant” and said it was the beginning of something new in the technology sector.
“Both the government and the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s vision for this place is to increase the population in a very unique way,” said Rolle.