Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, congratulates Adrian Christie after unveiling the commemorative plaque at the opening of the Arnold Christie Complex last week at Lower Estate, St. Michael. (C.Pitt/BGIS)??

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is urging aspiring entrepreneurs to use the opening of the Arnold Christie Complex as the inspiration to become more innovative in order to survive the worst economic downturn in a century.

He reiterated this call for businesses to become more competitive during the official launch of the Arnold Christie Complex at Lower Estate, St. Michael, last Saturday.

Mr. Stuart urged entrepreneurs not to be daunted by the challenges presented by the downturn but, to press on with the view to building a stronger and more competitive country.

"This beautiful building called the Arnold Christie Complex, is symbolic of the bigger, better, Barbados of which we have been dreaming and which we hope would emerge from the extra effort we must all make, to pull Barbados out of this prolonged downturn.

"As I have said before, this downturn must not be seen as a disaster but, as an opportunity to expand and motivate the business community to use the latest technology to produce goods and services more efficiently, to become more competitive and to help restructure the economy," he underlined.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the need for educated Barbadians to complete the process of the "ever-widening emancipation that began so many years ago" within the context of the foundation laid by the island’s National Heroes.

"They, [National Heroes] and all who emulated [them], built a solid foundation based on the enjoyment of human rights that helped us to achieve the high standard of living and quality of life which we enjoy today".

Mr. Stuart noted that it was no "mean feat" that Barbados -?? a small island?? with limited natural resources – was classified by the United Nations in 2011 as a developed country with a very high human development index.

Despite this classification and efforts by government to strengthen the agencies that provided assistance to entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister lamented that some were still reluctant to answer the call.

In light of this, Mr. Stuart suggested greater promotion of successful businessmen as the impetus to spur on others to succeed.

"The question [which] would have been repeatedly asked and debated in both the public and private [sectors] is why have sufficient numbers of entrepreneurs not emerged in Barbados in light of the overwhelming need to restructure and grow the economy?

"Academics have comprehensively analysed the subject and have provided excellent case studies to show how challenges have been overcome. We definitely need to promote the increasing number of highly successful businesses being established in Barbados by working class entrepreneurs," he suggested.

The Prime Minister described Adrian Christie, son of the well-respected construction icon in whose name the complex was named, as an extraordinary man who had been able despite the odds, to build on the foundation laid by his late father.

"This is a remarkable achievement by an extraordinary Barbadian.?? He [Adrian Christie] is as ordinary as the thousands of Barbadians whose parents were enterprising self-employed farmers, artisans or craftsmen who fed the nation and turned their hands to almost anything to earn a living.?? What Adrian Christie has done, is to reject the stigma associated with certain types of work; build on an inherited foundation; break the myopic shackles to business growth and development, and make a bold statement to the world," Mr. Stuart emphasised.

He further stated: "I want to present Adrian Christie as a model for actual and prospective Barbadian entrepreneurs and as a symbol of the unfolding economic democratisation of Barbados."

Among the businesses housed in the complex are Uwee Harrs Inc., ADC Building and Maintenance and a hardware store.


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