Highlights - The Bahamas High Commission_ London

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					Winter Edition 2008                                                                          Bahamas Newsletter

                                                                                             a publication by The Bahamas High Commission in London

T his year is coming to a close amid much              and judicial and government office
          economic uncertainty. The realities of       complexes and revitalization and
          the credit crunch and continued              beautification programmes in the
          volatility in the international financial    capital. While a degree of economic
          markets and their negative impact on         circumspection is clearly required,
          the rest of the economy have ensured         particularly by individuals, the
          that now is a time for sober reflection      Government will seek to continue to
          and stock-taking as to where things          manage the economy prudently,
          stand and where we should go from            ensuring that infrastructure
          this point forward. As people all over       improvements come on stream and that
          the world tighten their belts and devise     The Bahamas is able to move swiftly to
          strategies to cope with these uncertain      take advantage as and when the                   opportunity to enhance its efforts at
          times, we are reminded more than ever        economic situation improves.                     developing alternative energy sources
          of the interdependent nature of our                                                           throughout the country in order to
          world, which ensures that difficulties in    During these difficult times, The                reduce energy costs as well as move to
          one corner of the globe are felt all over.   Bahamas has also continued to                    a greater reliance on renewable
          By the same token, the solution to the       demonstrate its support for those hit            energies which are more
          current economic difficulties will           particularly hard by natural disasters           environmentally sustainable. The high
          require each of us to make our               this year. The Bahamas has pledged               cost of energy throughout this year has
          contribution to solve what has become        financial and other support to both Haiti        emphasised to all countries the pitfalls
          a collective problem.                        and the Turks and Caicos, both of whom           in relying solely on traditional sources
                                                       were ravaged by hurricanes.         The          of energy. For its part, The Bahamas
          The Bahamas has, like all other              Bahamas is keenly aware of the                   will continue to explore alternative
          countries, felt the effects of the global    devastating impact that natural                  sources of energy, which can only
          economic slowdown coupled with the           disasters can have on small island               contribute to the economic benefit of
          rising costs of energy and food which        developing states, and continues to              ordinary citizens, and enable us to
          have contributed to an overall rise in       stand shoulder to shoulder with our              preserve our beautiful natural
          the cost of living. The Bahamas has          Caribbean brethren when support is               environment.
          sought to tackle the problem head-on         needed.
          in an attempt to alleviate the burdens                                                        Thus we have come to the end of 2008
          faced by its citizens. To this end the       The impact of the global economic                sharing the same uncertainties as the
          Government has crafted a number of           slowdown is being felt most keenly in            rest of the world; however, we remain
          strategies and interventions aimed at        the tourism sector, which remains the            optimistic that we will all learn the
          assisting those who are finding it           main engine of the Bahamian economy.             lessons of the current financial crisis
          difficult to make ends meet at this time,    H o w e v e r, w h i l e t h e s e c t o r i s   and the economic difficulties that have
          including relief on energy bills and         undoubtedly facing challenging times,            beset the globe, and that we will be in a
          increased social services and                Bahamian tourism officials have taken a          position to take the necessary steps to
          assistance.                                  proactive approach, and have                     ensure that we will weather the storm.
                                                       expressed their determination to use             It is our hope that we will in fact emerge
          While the Government has naturally           this opportunity to continue to improve          from the current situation having laid
          had to adjust some of its economic           all aspects of The Bahamas' tourism              the basis for a renewed period of
          forecasts to take account of the current     product and take steps to ensure that            prosperity and growth which will benefit
          situation, the Prime Minister has            The Bahamas remains a premier                    the Bahamian people and persons
          indicated that the Government also           tourism destination. At a time when              across the globe.
          intends to review its capital investment     persons are cutting back on travel, The
          programme to accelerate those                Bahamas will make every effort to                We extend Season's Greetings to all of
          projects that would contribute most to       ensure that people who do travel to The          our readers, and wish them all a healthy
          dealing with the fall-out from the           Bahamas get the most value for every             and happy New Year.
          economic slow-down, including rising         dollar spent, and that The Bahamas
                                                                                                                        Paul H. Farquharson, QPM
          unemployment.         This programme         remains competitive.                                                   High Commissioner
          includes road improvement works,                                                                             Permanent Representative,
          construction of much-needed schools          The Bahamas is also taking the                         International Maritime Organization
                                                                     Bahamas Newsletter

                                             2008 IN REVIEW
    T he past year has been a very busy one       Commission's agenda in 2008, often             to engage in the critically important
      for the High Commission, with both the      in close collaboration with The                political and economic issues arising
      High Commissioner and the                   Bahamas Tourist Office, London. The            from its multiple accreditations.
      diplomatic and consular staff involved      highlight of this effort was undoubtedly       Despite it being a year in which there
      in a wide range of activities. Despite      the first-ever performance of                  was no regular Commonwealth Heads
      the breadth and complexity of the           Junkanoo in the United Kingdom, as             of Government Meeting, the High
      Mission's work, the small but               members of various Bahamian                    Commission's accreditation to the
      dedicated staff performed admirably         Junkanoo groups travelled twice to the         Commonwealth Secretariat continued
      in exercising the Mission's obligations     UK, first in April and then again in July,     to keep it fully engaged.           The
      to the international community, the         to perform in the Isle of Wight and at         Bahamas joined with other
      Bahamian community in the United            the Henley Festival. The Junkanoo              Commonwealth Member States in
      Kingdom and Europe and to the               performers also brought some colour            bidding farewell in March to the former
      general public.                             and excitement to a dreary July                Commonwealth Secretary General,
                                                  evening on the South Bank with a               H.E. Don McKinnon, and welcoming
      The year began with the arrival of the                                                     his successor H.E. Kamalesh
      new High Commissioner, who                                                                 Sharma, who assumed office on 1
      assumed post on 2 February 2008.                                                           April. The Bahamas maintained an
      The High Commissioner was not                                                              active presence in the meetings of the
      given much time to settle in before                                                        various Governing Bodies of the
      being thrust into the varied duties and                                                    Secretariat and the Commonwealth
      obligations of this multifaceted post.                                                     Foundation, and maintained a close
      In keeping with the intention stated at                                                    watching brief on the Secretariat's
      the very outset of his tour of duty, High                                                  myriad activities and the various high-
      Commissioner Farquharson sought                                                            level meetings of the Commonwealth
      very early to establish links with the                                                     held throughout the year, including the
      community of Bahamian nationals and                                                        meetings of Commonwealth Ministers
      students in the United Kingdom, by                                                         of Environment, Youth, Health, Law,
      hosting a reception at the High                                                            Foreign Affairs, Finance and Tourism,
      Commission in March during which                                                           and the Special Meeting of
      students and nationals got an                                                              Commonwealth Heads of
          opportunity to meet and greet the                                                      Government, held in the margins of

2         High Commissioner and his wife,
          the staff of the High Commission,
      The Bahamas Tourist Office and The
      Bahamas Maritime Authority.            In
                                                  One of the delights of Junkanoo summer:
                                                  A performer lights up Ryde, Isle of Wight,
                                                  July 2008
                                                                                                 the United Nations General Assembly
                                                                                                 in September. The High Commission
                                                                                                 also participated in unofficial
                                                                                                 Commonwealth activities, as the High
      traditional Bahamian style, refrains of     stirring display, which had London             Commissioner's wife was actively
      'who your people?' could be heard           office workers dancing at their desks.         involved in the planning process for
      throughout what was a very                  The High Commission was also                   the 2008 Commonwealth Fair,
      successful evening.                         delighted to welcome The Bahamas               organised by the Commonwealth
                                                  National Children's Choir who visited          Countries League.
      The High Commissioner has sought to         London in June, on the second leg of
      keep the links with the students and        their 2008 Summer Tour.              The       2008 also saw the convening of a
      other Bahamian nationals strong,            highlight of the choir's visit to London       number of Summit meetings of
      through visits to educational               was a concert performed at St.                 immediate interest to the High
      institutions, and supporting various        James's Church, Piccadilly, where              Commission, including the Fifth
      members of the disciplined forces who       they put on a magnificent display              European Union - Latin America and
      have been training at institutions in the   before an audience of staff of the High        Caribbean Summit held in Peru in
      United Kingdom.             The High        Commission, The Bahamas Tourist                May, the Fourth CARICOM - Spain
      Commission has also maintained              Office, The Bahamas Maritime                   Summit held in Spain in July, and the
      strong ties to the Friends of The           Authority, members of the diplomatic           Sixth ACP Summit held in Ghana in
      Bahamas group, who have                     corps, Bahamian nationals resident in          October. Diplomatic officers of the
      collaborated with the High                  the United Kingdom and members of              Mission joined The Bahamas
      Commission on a number of initiatives       the general public.                            delegations for each of these Summit
      in 2008, including in the field of                                                         meetings, and the Mission remains
      education.                                  In addition to fulfilling its obligations to   actively engaged in the follow-up
                                                  the Bahamian community and                     activities stemming from each of the
      The promotion of Bahamian culture           promoting Bahamian culture in the              meetings.
      has been high on the High                   UK, the High Commission continued
                                                                   Bahamas Newsletter

                                               2008 IN REVIEW
                                               Bahamian nationals to travel without             have meetings with representatives of
                                               visas for short stays to those European          the Scottish local government and
                                               countries that apply the Schengen                assembly, and representatives of the
                                               agreement. These discussions have                private sector. The Consular staff of the
                                               progressed well throughout the year, as          High Commission also maintained
                                               the High Commissioner and staff have             close links with their colleagues,
                                               been engaged in a series of negotiations         including through participating in the
                                               with the European Commission which               activities of the Consular Corps of
                                               are now concluded. It is expected that           London, such as its monthly luncheons.
                                               the remaining steps in this process will
                                               be completed soon, and a new era of              Without a doubt, the highlight in the High
High Commissioner and Mrs. Farquharson with    reciprocal visa-free travel for                  Commission's social calendar was the
Councillor Francis Blois of Westminster        Bahamians and Europeans to our                   reception hosted to celebrate the 35th
Council at 2008 Independence Reception         respective territories can begin, which          anniversary of Independence of The
Closer to home, the Sixth UK -                 would be of benefit to both sides.               Bahamas, held on 10 July in London.
Caribbean Ministerial Forum was held in                                                         Members of the diplomatic corps and
London in July. The High Commissioner          The High Commission also continued to            Bahamians turned out in great numbers
and staff provided logistical and              be an active participant in the                  to celebrate our Independence, and the
technical support to the Hon. Deputy           proceedings of the International                 event was a roaring success as always.
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign         Maritime Organization, including the
Affairs who headed The Bahamas                 meetings of its Council, and various             The High Commission has no doubt that
delegation to this important meeting.          Committees and other sub-organs. In              2009 will be an equally varied and busy
The Forum, which was held under the            conjunction with The Bahamas Maritime            year. The High Commission takes this
theme 'The UK/Caribbean Partnership            Authority, headquartered in London, the          opportunity to pay tribute to its staff, all
in a Changing World', brought together         High Commission ensured that The                 of whom make an invaluable
Ministers from the United Kingdom and          Bahamas' interests as the world's third          contribution to the work of the office.
the Caribbean to discuss a wide range of       largest ship registry were well                  The High Commission also expresses
issues of critical importance, including       represented at the IMO. The Bahamas'             its appreciation to members of the
sustainable development, climate               interest in and commitment to the                Diplomatic Corps, particularly
change, security and economic                  continued development of safe shipping           Caribbean High Commissioners and
development.                                   and the preservation of the marine               their staff, UK authorities, The Bahamas
                                               environment was further demonstrated             Maritime Authority, The Bahamas
The High Commission also engaged in a          by the successful hosting of The                 Tourist Office, Honorary Consuls of The
number of activities in Europe                 Bahamas International Maritime                   Bahamas in Europe and Bahamian
throughout the year stemming from its          Conference and Trade Show in                     nationals in the United
accreditation to the European Union, the
ACP Secretariat, the World Trade
Organization, the International
Organization for Migration and the
                                               Freeport, Grand Bahama in November.

                                               Of course, the High Commission has
                                               also participated in the many events that
                                                                                                Kingdom and Europe for
                                                                                                all of their support and
                                                                                                cooperation throughout the year. The
                                                                                                High Commission looks forward to their
Bureau for International Expositions.          form part of diplomatic life in London,          continuing collaboration in the coming
The Mission's distance from Europe             including Royal events such as the               year in pursuing the myriad Interests of
naturally limits the scope of its activities   Trooping of the Colour, the annual               The Bahamas in the UK and Europe and
in this regard; however, active                Buckingham Palace garden parties and             protecting the welfare of Bahamian
participation by the High Commissioner         HM the Queen's Evening Reception for             nationals.
and diplomatic officers in various             the Diplomatic Corps, as well as the
Ministerial and other meetings held            many National Day and other receptions
under the auspices of these                    hosted by members of the Diplomatic
organizations ensured that The                 Corps.       The High Commission
Bahamas' interests continued to be well        continued to strengthen its close
represented.                                   working relationship with its Caribbean
                                               colleagues, including through
A particular focus of the High                 participation in the meetings of
Commission this year has been the              Caribbean High Commissioners, and
Government's intention to conclude a           activities organised by that group,
visa waiver agreement with the                 including the first-ever official visit by the   Friends of The Bahamas Reception l. to r. Richard
European Union which would allow               group as a whole to Scotland in June to          Moir, Chairman-Friends of The Bahamas, Valdez
                                                                                                Russell, College of The Bahamas, High
                                                                                                Commissioner Farquharson
                                                                 Bahamas Newsletter


    T he  newly appointed Minister of the      has positioned itself, especially given
     Environment, whose portfolio includes     its geography and legal infrastructure,
     Maritime Affairs, the Honourable Earl     to remain competitive in the maritime
     D. Deveaux has announced that The         industry particularly in cruising, freight,
     Bahamas is to establish a Maritime        pleasure craft and ship repair. He
     Institute.                                continued however that there is a
                                               shortage of trained staff and therefore
     Speaking at The Bahamas Shipowners        applauded the vision and initiative of
     Association Meeting in London in          Mr. Anthony Price to establish a world
     November, the Minister revealed that      class Maritime Training Institute in The
     talks are well advanced with the          Bahamas to train seafarers of all ranks.
     government, the Grand Bahama Port
     Authority, the College (soon to be the    The Bahamas Shipowners Association
     University) of The Bahamas and the        (BSA) held its annual general meeting
     Ministry of Education to establish this   at the International Maritime Office
     critical component for the Industry.      headquarters in London, which was
                                               attended by the Secretary General of             Minister the Honourable Earl
     The Minister, in his opening address to   the IMO, Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos            Deveaux addresses the members of
     the meeting noted that The Bahamas        who delivered an address.                        the Shipowners Association at the
                                                                                                annual general meeting held on 5
                                                                                                November 2008

                GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnership Project – The Bahamas on the Move

T he     Bahamas is a part of the GEF-         technologies, inspection procedures           seminar was facilitated by Dr Jose

             UNDP-IMO GloBallast               and issuance of certificates, ship            Matheickal, Chief Technical Adviser of
             Partnerships Project as a Lead    documents and reporting aspects,              IMO GloBallast Partnerships and
             Partnering Country (LPC) in       sampling of ships' ballast water and          Commander Jeffrey Ramos of the
     the Wider Caribbean region.        The    analyses, baseline studies and                Regional Activity Center/Regional
     government of The Bahamas has             monitoring of harbour areas. During the       M a r i n e P o l l u t i o n E m e r g e n c y,
     recognized the introduction of harmful    event the screening of the IMO-BBC TV         Information and Training Center
     aquatic organisms and pathogens into      documentary ‘Invaders from the Sea’           (RAC/REMPEITC-Carib).
     new marine ecosystems as a significant    also took place. This successful
     and growing environmental challenge,      meeting was an important milestone for        A major outcome of the national
     and is determined to preserve the         the GloBallast Partnerships Project in        seminar was the consensus on a
     sensitive environment of the Regional     The Bahamas. Over 25 participants             number of priority areas that were
     Seas and to contribute to finding         from various government                       identified to address the ballast water
     solutions to this major global marine     organizations, academia and private           issues and the decision to start
     environmental issue.                      sector participated in the meeting. The       developing a national ballast water
                                               all-inclusive strategy adopted by the         management strategy and action plan,
     Within the activities of the GloBallast   Lead Agency (The Ministry of the              clearly demonstrating the success of
     Partnerships Project, The Bahamas         Environment represented by The Port           this seminar.
     recently organized the first National     Department and BEST Commission) to
     Task Force (NTF) meeting and Ballast      organize this meeting resulted in raising
     Water Management Seminar on 16th          significant awareness of the issue and
     September 2008 in Nassau at the           the Project activities, as well as
     Sandals Royal Bahamian Hotel. This        facilitating the consensus building
     meeting and workshop included             amongst the participants on the future
     presentations by various experts and      action plans.
     government organizations on different
     aspects of the issue, such as invasive    The meeting was co-chaired by the
     species introduced in the region, an      GloBallast National Focal point for The
     overview of the IMO Ballast Water         Bahamas, Captain Anthony Allens from
                                                                                             Source - Dr. Jose Matheickal, Chief Technical
     Management Convention,                    the Port Department and Mr. Deon              Advisor, Marine Environment Division, IMO
     ballast water treatment                   Stewart from BEST Commission. The
                                                                  Bahamas Newsletter
               Sixth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African, Caribbean
                   and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Accra, Ghana, 2- 3 October 2008

T he 6th Summit of ACP Heads of State          Summits have been held as follows:            their peoples to take advantage of the
  and Government was held in Accra,            First Summit, Libreville, Gabon,              ever-increasing opportunities which
  Ghana on 2 and 3 October 2008. The           November 1997; Second Summit,                 would help them to integrate
  Government of the Commonwealth of            Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic,            meaningfully into the global economic
  The Bahamas was represented by the           November 1999; Third Summit, Nadi,            system and impact positively on their
  Hon T. Brent Symonette, M.P., Deputy         Fiji, June 2002; Fourth Summit,               development.
  Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign       Maputo, Mozambique, June 2004;
  Affairs; and Mr. Frank Davis, First          and, Fifth Summit, Khartoum, Sudan,           Other speakers included Sir John
  Secretary/Consul, Bahamas Mission            December 2006.                                Kaputin, ACP Secretary General, H.E.
  to the European Communities,                                                               Robert Hill, Permanent
  London.                                      The Sixth Summit was preceded by a            Representative of Australia to the
                                               meeting of the ACP Council of                 United Nations, who brought greetings
  The Summit of ACP Heads of State             Ministers on 30 September 2008, and           on behalf of the Prime Minister of
  and Government is the supreme                a joint meeting of the ACP Council of         Australia, and Mrs. Glenys Kinnock,
  organ of the Group. It defines the           Ministers and Ministers of Foreign            MEP, Co-President of the ACP-EU
  Group's general policy orientation.          Affairs on 1 October 2008. The                Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
  Since 1997, Heads of State and               Summit was officially opened by His
  Government of ACP member-                    Excellency J.A. Kufuor, President of
  countries have been meeting                  the Republic of Ghana and incoming
  regularly to lay down the broad              President of the ACP Group.
  guidelines for the general policy of the     Assuming his new role, President
  ACP Group and give the Council of            Kufuor thanked the outgoing
  Ministers instructions relating to its       President of the ACP Summit and
  implementation.                              Sudan's President, Omer Hassan,
                                               Ahmed Al-Bashir for holding the fort         ACP Heads of State and Government
  The Summit is presided over by the           for the past two years and for the
  Head of State or Government of the           wonderful cooperation between the
  host-country and organised by a              officials of the two countries which had
  Bureau comprising the President-in-          contributed to the smooth
  Office, the outgoing President and the       arrangements for the Sixth Summit.
  incoming President (if already
                                               The President said that the ACP
                                               countries are determined to empower                                       5
                          UNION AND CARIFORUM COUNTRIES

I n keeping with a decision taken at the       The EPA is designed to replace the           All CARIFORUM Member States, with
  Third Special Meeting of Heads of            trade component of the Cotonou               the exception of Haiti and Guyana
  State/Government of CARIFORUM on             Agreement, which was based on non-           signed the agreement on 15 October.
  September 10, 2008, the Signing              reciprocity. It is a trade instrument with   The Government of Guyana
  Ceremony for the Economic Partnership        strong development components and is         subsequently signed on the 20th
  Agreement (EPA) between the                  expected to help CARIFORUM to export         October. However, the Government of
  European Union and the CARIFORUM             more and thereby increase                    Haiti, which has been heavily occupied
  countries took place in Bridgetown,          employment, business opportunities           with addressing national stabilization
  Barbados on 15 October 2008.                 and economic growth, which can lead to       and recovery in the aftermath of recent
                                               sustainable development.                     tropical hurricanes, has requested more
  The EPA is a trade agreement that                                                         time to review the Agreement.
  provides for more liberal trade between      The Agreement was signed on behalf of
  CARIFORUM countries and the                  The Bahamas by the Hon. T. Brent             CARIFORUM consists of the Member
  E u r o p e a n C o m m u n i t y. It will   Symonette, Deputy Prime Minister and         States of the CARICOM and the
  progressively allow certain exports from     Minister of Foreign Affairs. While The       Dominican Republic. For more details
  the two regions to enter each other's        Bahamas signed the Agreement, it will        on the CARIFORUM-EC Economic
  territories duty-free and quota free. It     only enjoy benefits on the export of         Partnership Agreements, please visit
  also defines how trade in services and       goods until its Services Schedule is
  investment can take place between the        added to the Agreement, which must be
  two regions.                                 done within six months of signing.
                                                                             Bahamas Newsletter
                      A SADOR FARQUHA
                      AMBASSADOR FARQUHARSON          CREDENTIA
                                                              AL                          ITALIAN
H is  Excellency Paul H. Farquharson            Ambassador Farquharson presented
  presented his formal Letters of               his Letters of Credence during a brief
  Credence to His Excellency Giorgio            ceremony at the Quirinale Palace in
  Napolitano, President of the Italian          Rome, the official residence of the
  Republic, accrediting him as                  President of the Italian Republic.
  Ambassador Extraordinary and                  Ambassador Farquharson was
  Plenipotentiary of the Commonwealth           accompanied at the ceremony by Ms.
  of The Bahamas to the Italian Republic,       Nicole Archer, First Secretary/Vice-
  with residence at London, on 15th             Consul, Bahamas Embassy.
  October, 2008.
                                                Following the ceremony the
                                                Ambassador was invited to a private
                                                conversation with the President and his Ambassador meets with the President and his
                                                advisers in the President's office, during advisors
                                                which Ambassador Farquharson and
                                                the President discussed matters of Consul of the Commonwealth of The
                                                mutual interest to The Bahamas and Bahamas in Rome, and discussed ways
                                                Italy.                                     to promote greater cultural, educational,
                                                                                           tourism and business ties between The
                                                While in Italy the Ambassador also met Bahamas and Italy.
  Ambassador and H.E. Giorgio Napolitano        with Dr. Pasquale Intonti, Honorary

                                           UPDATE    VISA WA V
                                           UPDATE ON VISA WAIVER AGREEMENT
                                               FOR SCHENGEN COUNTRIES
O n 19 November 2008, representatives of         processes on both sides.                                        countries requiring visas, to the list of
   The Bahamas and the European                  Implementation of the agreement will                            countries exempt from this requirement.
   Commission initialled a short stay visa       represent the culmination of a process                          Since that time, The Bahamas and the
   waiver agreement which, when                  that began formally with the adoption of                        European Commission have engaged
   implemented, will facilitate                  European Council Regulation                                     in a very constructive negotiating
   reciprocal visa free travel for short                                                                         process, which has now resulted in a
             stays for citizens of The                                                                           very successful outcome.

6            Bahamas and the European
             Union. The agreement was
   initialled for The Bahamas by H.E. Paul
   Farquharson, Ambassador to the
                                                                                                                 The High Commission wishes to stress,
                                                                                                                 for the benefit of Bahamian nationals in
                                                                                                                 the United Kingdom wishing to travel to
   European Communities, and for the                                                                             Europe, that until the ratification
   European Community by Mr. Jean-                                                                               process is completed Bahamians will
   Louis de Brouwer, Director General,            Back row l. To r.- Bas Van Helden, European Commission,
                                                                                                                 continue to require visas to enter
   Justice, Freedom and Security,                 Albert Jean Niels, Bahamas Honorary Consul, Belgium, Nicole    Schengen territories. Schengen visas
                                                  Archer - First Secretary. Front Row-Jean-Louis de Brouwer,
   European Commission.                           European Commission, Ambassador Farquharson                    should continue to be secured from the
                                                 1932/2006 adopted on 21 December                                appropriate European Embassy or
   The concluded agreement will now              2006, which moved The Bahamas and                               Consulate in the United Kingdom, until
   undergo the required internal ratification    five other countries from the list of                           further notice.

                      AMBASSADOR FARQUHARSON
                      A SADOR FARQUHA                 CREDENTIA
                                                              AL                          EUROPEAN
                                                                                          EUROPEAN COMMISSION

H. E. Paul H. Farquharson presented his          Ambassador Farquharson was                                     the European Community.
   formal Letters of Credence to His             accompanied at the meeting by Ms.
   Excellency José Manuel Barroso,               Nicole Archer, First Secretary/Vice-
   President of the European                     Consul, Bahamas Mission to the
   Commission, accrediting him as                European Communities, and Mr. Albert
   Ambassador Extraordinary and                  Jean Niels, Honorary Consul of the
   Plenipotentiary, Head of the Mission of       Commonwealth of The Bahamas,
   the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to            Belgium.
   the European Communities, on 20th
   November, 2008.                                Following the presentation of the letters
                                                  of credence, the Ambassador and the
   Ambassador Farquharson presented               President of the Commission engaged
   his Letters of Credence during a short         in a brief discussion related to current                      Ambassador presenting credentials to Jose
   meeting at the Headquarters of the             international developments as well as                         Manuel Barroso, President of the European
   European Commission in Brussels.               relations between The Bahamas and                             Commission
                                                 TAPPING THE ASIAN MARKET
T he  Minster for Tourism & Aviation,              The Minister also attended a trade               The Minister deemed the trip to China
 Senator       the Honourable Vincent              show in Beijing, organised by the                as very useful and further enthused
 Vanderpool-Wallace led a team of                  C h i n e s e N a t i o n a l To u r i s m       “that it was an opportunity for us to begin
 officials to China in early November, for         Administration which featured                    to test what we think is our best strategy
 the purpose of expanding The                      companies and people from all over the           in that part of the world . . .and it was
 Bahamas as a destination in the Asian             world, including Florida. Some                   extraordinarily well received”.
 market. The Minister and his team met             exhibitors included representatives
 with the firm Golin Harris, The                   from companies which send large                  The Minister welcomed the opportunity
 Bahamas' public relations firm in                 numbers of business and leisure                  for increased accessibility to the Asian
 Beijing, as well as Chinese tour                  travellers to the United States and              market as a result of the
 operators and airline companies.                  Canada. The Minister commented on                commencement of the issuance of visas
                                                   The Bahamas' hopes for tapping into              to Chinese nationals by The Bahamas
 At the press conference in Beijing the            the Chinese diaspora in Toronto,                 Embassy in Beijing.
 Minister talked about a different                 Vancouver and in Atlanta which were
 approach to marketing in the region.              not previously accessible. He also               The schedule of visits included Hong
 The strategy involves establishing The            noted that Florida was keen on the               Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Ms. Karen
 Bahamas as part of combination trips              combination packages with The                    Seymour, Director for Europe and Asia
 to North America. This would include              Bahamas, as it was an opportunity to             in The Bahamas Tourist Office, London,
 travel packages to the US and Canada              enhance their product.                           UK was a member of the delegation.
 for business or leisure travellers.

                                                     World Travel Market 2008

                                     T he  Bahamas was well             provides the opportunity to             Director General, Ms. Vernice
                                      represented at World Travel       efficiently, effectively and            Walkine, Deputy Director
                                      Market (WTM) 2008, one of         productively stay abreast of the        General, Mr. Ellison Tommy
                                      the travel industry's biggest     latest developments in the              Thompson, alongside hotel
                                      events. Staged annually in        travel industry.                        partners, Senior VP Sales &
                                      London under one roof it is a                                             Marketing Reps of Bahamas
                                      must attend, business to          The Islands of the Bahamas              hotels and resorts. The
                                      business exhibition that          booth was situated as usual in          exhibition took place at the

                                      provides a unique opportunity     the Caribbean village. In               ExCeL Centre in
                                      for the whole global travel       attendance were the Minister of         London Docklands,
                                      trade industry to meet,           Tourism and Aviation, the               from 10-13
  Richard English, Baha Mar and       network, negotiate and            H o n o u r a b l e M r. Vi n c e n t   November 2008.
  Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace,    conduct business. WTM,            Vanderpool-Wallace, Tourism's
  Minister of Tourism

                   XL Airways France Operates Weekly Paris/Nassau Direct Air Services
                   XL Airways

T he  Bahamas Ministry of Tourism                 serviced with an Airbus, and seats are           rue du Cherche Midi - 75006 Paris –
  announced the start of French airlines,         committed to three French tour operators,        FRANCE Tél : 33 (1) 45 26 62 62 - Fax:
  'XL Airways France'      air services,          Thomas Cook, 1001 Soleils and,            33(1) 48 74 06 05 - Email:
  direct flights from Paris to The                with the remaining seats to reservations &
  Bahamas from 18 December 2008.                  and Varadero, Cuba.                     Public Relations
                                                                                                   agency LBP Communication : Nathalie
  The services operate on Thursdays               Majestic Travel has been appointed by XL         Nicolas & Odile Genetet Tél : 33 (1) 42
  departing Paris, Charles de Gaulle              Airways France as their Ground Service           61 80 59 / Fax :33 (1) 49 27 07 99 email :
  airport, Terminal 2A at 9:15 am arriving        Agents for The Bahamas.                
  in Nassau at 1:40 pm. This ensures
  easy connections to Grand Bahama                Return fares for Paris/Nassau start at
  Island and most of the Family Islands           €778 taxes included (approximately
  (Out Islands) of The Bahamas.                   1,015 USD).
  Departures from Nassau are at 3:10 pm
  with a stop in Varadero, Cuba, then             French tour operators have largely
  continue on to Charles de Gaulle airport        increased their Bahamas programmes as
  arriving at 9:15 am the next morning.           of Winter season 08/09 and propose a
                                                  variety of destinations within the Islands
  This route is operated as a regular route       of The Bahamas. For more information
  and comes in addition to the fully              contact the following European offices:
  chartered flight of XL Airways France to
  San Salvador for Club Med. The route is         BAHAMAS TOURIST OFFICE 113-115
                                                                                                                       Bahamas High Commission
    HIGH COMMISSIONER FARQUHARSON VISITs STUDENTS IN KENT, UK                                                   10 Chesterfield Street London W1J 5JL
                                                                                                                Tel: 020 7408 4488 Fax: 020 7499 9937
T he High Commissioner in                                                                                       Honorary Consuls for The Bahamas
    continuation of his                                                                                         BELGIUM
    objective to enhance the                                                                                    Mr. Albert-Jean Niels
    Mission's outreach and                                                                                      76-78 Quai aux Briques
                                                                                                                1000 Brussels, Belgium
    relationship with                                                                                           Tel: +32 2 512 9348
    Bahamian students,                                                                                          Fax: +32 2 512 9292
    visited Kent in early
    October. The visit had a                                                                                    FRANCE
                                                                                                                Mr. Claude Le Gris
    dual purpose: firstly to
                                                                                                                5 Rue De Beaune
    meet with students and                                                                                      75007 Paris, France
    exchange views on their                                                                                     Tel: +33 1 4286 036
    experiences in the UK,                                                                                      Fax: +33 1 4703 3927
    their interaction with the
    Mission and the latter's                                                                                    Dr. Hartwig Piepenbrock
    responsibilities to               High Commissioner with Bahamian Students, Nationals and Faculty           Flottenstrasse 14-20
    Bahamian students;                from the University of Kent. Photo by Spencer Scott, University of Kent   13407 Berlin, Germany
    secondly to hold meetings                                                                                   Tel: +49 30/409 004 107
                                                                                                                Fax:+49 30/409 004 105
    with various education           along with Mr. Alan                   students and remains
    officials from the               Benjamin from The                     committed to the                     GREECE
    University of Kent to            Bahamas Maritime                      expansion of educational             R.Adm. Stylianos Anastopoulos

8            advance talks on
             between the
    College of The Bahamas
                                     Authority, London.

                                     The students warmly
                                     received the High
                                                                           opportunities for students
                                                                           in the United Kingdom
                                                                           through collaborative
                                                                           programmes between the
                                                                                                                253 Sygrou Avenue
                                                                                                                17122 Athens, Greece
                                                                                                                Tel: +30 210 941 1603
                                                                                                                Fax: +30 210 941 1606

    and the University of Kent.      Commissioner and hosted               College of The Bahamas,              ITALY
    The High Commissioner            him to a luncheon with the            the University of Kent and           (Regions: Lombardia, Veneto, Liguria)
    was assisted in the              University officials and              other tertiary level                 Ms. Michaelangela Vismara
    discussions by Ms. Paulet        later that evening to a               institutions across the UK           via Mascheroni, 1
    Brown, a Senior Lecturer         'Bahamian style'                      and Europe.                          20123 Milan, Italia
    at the University of East        reception.     The High                                                    Tel: +39 02 4819 4390
    London. Ms. Brown                Commissioner hopes to                                                      Fax: +39 02 469 3248
    accompanied High                 maintain a good                                                            Dr. Pasquale Intonti
    Commissioner to Kent             relationship with the                                                      Via Giulia 200
                                                                                                                Rome, Italia 00186
                                                                                                                Tel: +39 06 6878086
                               NOTICE TO STUDENTS                                                               Fax: +39 06 6878276

                                                                                                                Count Niccolo Caisotti de Chiusano
S tudents are reminded that UK Border                 information required on rights to remain                  31 Avenue Princesse Grace
    Immigration has begun phasing in its              as a student in the UK are on the                         L'Estoril 1/A MC 98000 Monaco
                                                                                                                Tel: +3 77 93 30 51 50
    new immigration rules and regulations             websites cited in this notice, please read                Fax: +3 77 93 30 51 77
    governing foreign nationals in the UK.            up.
    Students should ensure that they are                                                                        SWEDEN
    well versed with the changes which are            Another important      new immigration                    Gustaf Wachtmeister
                                                                                                                Valhallavagen 14, 181 32 Lidingo
    set out on the UK Border Agency                   regulation which students should be                       Stockholm, Sweden
    webpage:             informed on, is the requirement for                       Tel: +46 8767 4388
    .uk/studyingintheuk/. Students should             identity cards. Foreign Nationals will be                 Fax: +46 8767 6291
    ensure that they are always in status,            required to obtain identity cards, and
    because an expired immigration status             foreign students will be among the first
                                                                                                                Mrs. Katherine Klainguti-Kemp
    may affect one’s ability to successfully          group to be phased in.                                    Bahnhofplatz 9, P.O.Box 1175
    obtain an extension. Persons intending                                                                      CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland
    to pursue full time studies in the UK must                     Tel: +41 44 226 4042
    obtain a student permit prior to entering         gingborders/idcardsforforeignnationals/                   Fax: +41 44 226 4043
    the United Kingdom. It is no longer                                                                         TURKEY
    possible to obtain a student permit at the                                                                  Mr. H. Kamel Yardimci
    port of entry unless the course of study is                                                                 Aydintepe Mahallesi
    a maximum of six months. The new Tier                                                                       Tersaneler Caddesu 50
                                                                                                                Sokak no.7 Tuzla 34947
    4, which governs students will come into                                                                    Istanbul, Turkey
    full effect in April 2009. Students will then                                                               Tel: +90 216 493 80 00
    have to be sponsored by educational                                                                         Fax: +90 216 493 80 80
    institutions which will be legally
                                                                                                                Bahamians, who encounter
    responsible for monitoring and reporting                                                                    difficulties in any country where
    to UK Border Immigration on the                                                                             there is no Bahamian Embassy or
                                                                                                                Consulate present, should contact
    student's attendance and performance                                                                        the nearest British Embassy or
    at these institutions. All the necessary                                                                    High Commission for assistance.

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