Prime Minister Happy With Operations At The Port

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Prime Minister, David Thompson (third from left)??touring the??duty free shops at the Bridetown Cruise Terminal with members of the board of directors, (left to right) Ian Archer,Geoffrey Roach,David Harding, Everton Walters and Edward Pilgrim.

Prime Minister, David Thompson has expressed satisfaction with the Bridgetown Port, calling it a very successful partnership and a beacon for other areas of economic activity in this country. At the same time, he called for an intensification of its programmes.

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Mr. Thompson made these comments today, following a tour of the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc. and the Bridgetown Port Inc.

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He stated that he was ???very happy to see the progress that has been made??? at the facility. ???We have already eliminated a lot of the challenges to the duty-free operators and we may have some further adjustments to facilitate people operating in the duty-free sector and to encourage new players,??? he said.

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However, the Prime Minister admitted that the physical infrastructure at the port needed some improvement. He noted that ???we need to remove the element of congestion.

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We need to open up other parts of Barbados to these economic opportunities to the north of our country. We also need to invest more in this port to give some priority to the needs of the cruise ships and also to give them any opportunity to invest in what is happening here,??? he explained.

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The Prime Minister pointed out that the board members of the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal and the Bridgetown Port were aware of what government wanted completed, both?? in terms of the overall planning for the development of the cruise industry and for the promotion of the number one export, rum.

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He observed that this commodity was synonymous with Barbados, providing new opportunities for small business people to be involved more in the duty-free sector and in the commercial aspect of the cruise industry.

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The Prime Minister noted that because resources were slender, businesses would concentrate more on their survival. Consequently, he stressed that this was the time to think about further ???stabilising our economies,??? which, he noted ???we have been successful so far in doing.??? But he contended that it was now advantageous to look towards the next stage and stressed that Barbados needed to ???seize the moment now and prepare for that???.

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Giving the background to the genesis of the port as a commercial enterprise, 15-odd years ago, Mr. Thompson said that the project had taken place at a time when Barbados was facing very difficult economic circumstances.

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???We were in a programme of privatisation, and what was happening was that many more public/private sector initiatives were being undertaken. I???m very happy to say that this, for me, represents the most successful of those private/ public sector initiatives,??? the Prime Minister declared.

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He complimented members of the board and those in the distributive/duty-free sector for their good work and thanked them for their continued service.

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Mr. Thompson was welcomed to the facilities by Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of The Bridgetown Cruise Terminal Inc., Everton Walters, and General Manager of the Bridgetown Cruise terminal Inc., Geoffrey Roach.

Mr. Walters said that entity???s success was directly related to its core business, namely cruise and cargo. ???We are doing our utmost to ensure that we fulfill our vision of what Barbados ought to be in the future,??? and that it fits very well into the macro tourism framework.

clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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