Freeport--Free Trade Zone
Freeport Harbour, already a port for six major cruise lines and welcoming more than a million toursists annually, is currently undergoing expansion that will make it the finest deep-water containing transshipment port in the hemisphere.
is a 230-square-mile free trade zone on Grand Bahama
Island, established in 1955 by the Government of The
Bahamas. The city of Freeport emerged from a land grant
comprising 50,000 acres of swamp and scrub to become a
cosmopolitan center, promoting both good business and the
The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) operates the free trade zone, under special powers conferred by the government under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, which was recently extended until August 3, 2054. The agreement also increased the land grants to 138,000 acres. The GBPA is the major provider and developer of services in the free trade zone and offers an expanding portfolio of opportunities that includes investment in its own subsidiary companies.
LocationFreeport's strategic location at the gateway to the Americas is a major incentive to industrial development. The city is only a 35-minute plane ride from southern Florida, and its harbour is the closest offshore port to the United States. The free trade zone is well-positioned for global commerce, located at the crossroads of routes between Europe, North and South American trade links, and international shipping transiting through the Panama Canal.
Tax BenefitsUnder the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, businesses in the free trade zone pay no taxes on profits, capital gains, inheritance, income, earnings, distributions, gifts, or on imported and exported goods. In addition, import duties and taxes on real estate have been waived through August 3, 2015.
The Freeport HarbourFirst and foremost of GBPA's accomplishments, Freeport Harbour, is accessible to even the largest vessels. The entrance, through an 1,800-foot-long straight channel, is 500-feet wide, and 47-feet deep, with a turning basin depth of 44 feet. Already a port for six major cruise lines and welcoming more than half a million tourists annually, the harbour is currently undergoing expansion that will make it the finest deep-water container transshipment port in the hemisphere. This project, in partnership with the Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd., Hong Kong, is the largest ever British investment in The Bahamas. It is set for completion in 1998.
The harbour's close relationship with Freeport International Airport, a 10-minute drive away, together with excellent tug and piloting services, makes it an ideal centre for homeporting, with significant additional capacity.
Freeport's International AirportFreeport International Airport is just minutes from South Florida. One of the largest privately-owned airports in the world, it enjoys state-of-the-art facilities, including an 11,000-foot-long runway that accommodates international jet aircraft 24 hours daily. Refuelling and hub operations are managed by The Grand Bahama Airport Company Ltd. at its full service terminal, complete with preclearance facilities for U.S. customs and immigration.
Freeport's airport averages nearly 50,000 flights each year. Airlines with regularly scheduled flights include: American Eagle, Comair (Delta), Continental, Laker Airways International, Gulf Stream International, and Bahamasair, with charters also available. Direct or hub flights connect Freeport with Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, and New York, as well as Toronto and Milan.
Quality of LifeFreeport is approximately the size of Singapore, with more than 400 miles of excellent wide-paved roads, as well as miles of well-engineered waterways bordering private homes. The average commute to work is just seven minutes. The area also enjoys modern educational and health facilities, cable television, a wealth of cultural events, extensive leisure facilities, duty-free shopping, and a cosmopolitan nightlife.
A wide variety of international sports are also available, including golf, tennis, international squash courts, American football, soccer, rugby, cricket, horseback riding and polo, softball, baseball, volleyball, netball, darts and bowling. Water sports include sailing, fishing, swimming, diving, waterskiing and windsurfing.
The mild subtropical climate makes the island a natural greenhouse, with an average temperature of 72 degrees farenheit, and 75 percent average humidity. More than 200 species of birds are sighted here regularly, and the area is home to 36 species and varieties of wild orchids. Because of prevailing winds and sensible planning, the air on Grand Bahama Island is exceptionally clean, and the fresh water table is considered capable of supporting a quarter of a million people.
Freeport Power Company Limited has joined with The Southern Electric Company of the United States, bringing major equipment upgrades and the latest in digital technology to provide low-cost power for the free trade zone.
Recently Approved InvestorsBuilding Industry
Freeport Concrete Company Ltd.
Prima Land Ltd.
Resorts & Real Estate
For further information, contact:
Freeport, Grand Bahama
Tel: (242) 352-6711
Fax: (242) 352-8310, (242) 352-9864
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