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WE SAID NO: Minnis said his Cabinet rejected travel for Expo 2020 initiative

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis yesterday castigated the Davis administration over its level of participation in the worldwide cultural exchange Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis and the delegation traveled to Dubai yesterday.

On the heels of public criticism over the Bahamian delegation’s trip to Dubai for Expo 2020, the Office of the Prime Minister has released a press release defending the group’s attendance and providing further details.

Among the many 192 country pavilions, The Bahamas will probably be showcasing the most effective in Bahamian culture, music, and food. The country will probably be highlighted with the celebration of Bahamas National Day on the Expo on Monday.

While there, the prime minister is predicted to have interaction in high-level talks on climate change, technology, and economic growth for The Bahamas, in addition to discover opportunities for The Bahamas because the investment capital within the region.

The delegation for the expo has been criticized as very large, comprising of Bahamian choirs, bands, musicians, and cultural artisans.

Communications Director within the Office of the Prime Minister Latrae Rahming said $1.7 million had been approved by the previous Minnis administration.

In an earlier interview with Eyewitness News, Minnis indicated that extra funding for the expo was denied by his Cabinet on account of the shortage of value they saw in attending. 

He explained that in his administration there was a moratorium on traveling for Cabinet ministers on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“When it comes to Dubai we gave strict orders that there can be nothing coming from the federal government,” Minnis said.

“We gave strict orders that if tourism was interested then whatever is of their budget they are going to spend it but they weren’t getting any additional money.”

The previous prime minister said his administration also took the position that if the expo would bring loads of investors then get the private sector should become involved and canopy costs. 

He added that “the quantity of tourists we get from that specific area is lower than one percent. We made the determination that the federal government wasn’t spending any money”.

Minnis also contended that The Bahamas could have participated virtually to display Bahamian culture in numerous events. 

“I do not forget that Cabinet meeting thoroughly once I gave the order. There have been no Cabinet ministers traveling at this particular time within the pandemic.”

Based on the federal government’s statement, Cabinet approved as much as $1 million of the fee, while the UAE has funded $3.5 million and the Bahamian private sector contributed half 1,000,000 dollars.

Davis is attending on a private invitation from the royal family and prime minister of UAE, the statement said.

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