Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development, Senator Lynette Eastmond
Government’s commitment to assist ICT firms with keeping Barbadians aware of developments in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) was echoed today by the Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development, Senator Lynette Eastmond, as she officially declared open an ICT conference at the Sherbourne Centre.
The event, hosted by the Information Society of Barbados (ISB), runs for two days and will see several presentations by various individuals. There is also an exhibition of various technologies on show.
Senator Eastmond noted that “government has begun discussions with the ISB on two key projects, a community outreach programme and an exhibition.
“The former will commence this year. The latter will occur next year, with the help of existing sponsors and the other that we hope to convince that they have a stake in building Barbados.”
She underscored the importance of ICTs in promoting the services sector as the major engine for growth in the Barbadian economy and stated that she hoped full use would be made of ICTs as Barbados sought to give meaning to the NISE initiative.
“The challenges of globalization and trade liberalization are bearing down on developing countries everywhere. It is therefore necessary for individuals to work to increase national productivity, simply to be able to stay in the race. But working hard, while necessary, is not enough. It is absolutely essential that we all work smarter if we are to gain a competitive edge over other players in the market place,” Minister Eastmond said.
A section of the audience at today’s opening ceremony.
She commended the ISB for making the conference a reality. Ms. Eastmond further stated stating that the event, as well as the related Exhibition had considerable significance since they offered an opportunity for both employers and employees to see how ICTs could be applied to improve operational efficiency and productivity as well as to share information.
“I am pleased to be able to say that Government is leading by example. One only has to refer to the several ICT projects which it has implemented or is in the process of implementing. I speak of projects such as the Education Enhancement Project (Edutech), the Expenditure Management Project (Smartstream) and the Project being implemented by the Customs Department to facilitate electronic clearance of goods through our ports,” the minister said.