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A purely analytical perception...


BAHAMAS

Continued from page 6

When World War II began, the United States desperately needed an Air Force base in the Bahamas and made a deal with the Government for its construction The opportunity in constructing the base and later providing it with goods and services put a lot of unemployed Bahamians to work and took the edge off of the Islands unemployment. Ultimately this airport became Nassau International Airport and was critical in the rebirth of the country. .

Another colorful character, Sir Stafford Sands, took charge of shaping the next decade. Sands established a Development Board to market the islands as a holiday destination. With jet air services arriving at Nassau International Airport and a newly dredged Nassau harbor accommodating the largest ships, tourism flourished. Moreover, a tax haven was established which today embraces the country's huge offshore financial industry. Finally, on July 10, 1973, after nearly 250 years as a colony, The Bahamas became and independent nation.

In the meantime, the resourceful Bahamians uncovered another way to make a living. They created a home away from home for those rejected by their native lands because of minor legal problems like theft and murder. A Canadian Company by the name of Bre-X was one of the first to take advantage of this haven. The company and its history began in Indonesia.

Indonesia is a country that has been blessed with natural resources, and its oil industry is the envy of its neighbors. The local mining industry is also world class, boasting large deposits of aluminia and copper. Not too many days go by without an "elephant find" in one of the many thousands of islands that comprise the country. Indonesia is the world's largest producer of the robusta coffee beans that are used to make instant coffee. It is also the second leading producer of cocoa and palm oil and one of the world’s largest producers of rubber. Suharto was at the peak of his power, and it was not a major surprise when a small Canadian mining company announced that they had discovered gold in Borneo, one of the islands that make up the country of Indonesia.

As the weeks went on, the find increased in size regularly until it eventually became by far the richest find since creation of the universe. Bre-X, of Calgary Alberta, which was known as a junior company, had a secondary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It announced that the find exceeded 200 million ounces of gold ($120 billion), and the stock soared from pennies to stratospheric heights on the Canadian Stock Markets.

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