Bahamas To Waive Visas For Three More Countries

Three more nations will soon no longer need visas to enter The Bahamas as the government seeks to encourage international trade and travel in 2010.

Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette told The Nassau Guardian that negotiations to remove the visa requirements were well underway and that the identity of the three countries would soon be revealed.

Symonette said the impending move was part of the government's desire to attract international trade to the islands, and encourage more tourists to come to The Bahamas.

He said: "We are seeking to liberalize the visa entry system where is practical and you will soon see three more countries benefiting from this. We are working to both make it easier for people to travel here but also to make it easier for Bahamians to travel to other countries.

"This all helps trade and we are keen to continue working to meet our manifesto pledge of modernization.

"Of course it is a balancing act, obviously we cannot extend to countries known for terrorism, but we are wanting to make it easier for travelers to come here."

Symonette cited a recent assurances from the South African president Jacob Zuma, at a gathering of the heads of Caricom, that he would look again at visa entry requirements for Bahamians.

He said: "It is all about facilitating trade and easy movement for all concerned, the public will have seen the progress of the Pre-clearance bill in the House and we are also making progress with electronic passport processing."

Source: The Nassau Guardian