Government is on a mission to get second and third generation Barbadians who live abroad to connect with Barbados.
Addressing members of the Barbadian resettlement community during an Informative Session on Vision 2020, We Gatherin’ at the Radisson Aquatica recently, Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands, explained Barbados’ connection to its diaspora was imperative to help the country strategically position itself on the world stage and within the global trading system.
“We have to be nimble… how we deploy every single Barbadian to help us to strategically position our country is critical so that we can succeed, and we can be successful.
“How are we going to effectively reach our second and third generations Barbadians? We want them to feel as at home and as connected to us as those who are first generation Barbadians. So, we are building a programme to discover where our people are, no matter where they are in the world,” she stated.
Minister Husbands explained that the ministry had been tasked with encouraging Barbadians living around the globe to visit the island for the upcoming Vision 2020. It was also responsible for creating a diaspora database and forging closer ties between Barbadians living overseas and their homeland.
She called on those gathered to help the ministry make contact with Barbadians who live abroad. “You are central to our plan. As part of our outreach to the diaspora, we have to ask our returning residents to identify all the people that they know, regardless of the generation.
“Ask them to register at the mission or embassy in the country where they live or register directly with us at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We will build up a database,” she urged.
The Foreign Trade Minister stressed that reconnecting was important so that generations of Barbadians could pass on wealth, and insisted that things needed to be put in place now to ensure that this could happen.
She outlined: “We need to be able to build out a future for Barbados that is safe, that is stable and that will pass from generation to generation a legacy of prosperity and wealth. Our young people must know there is a Barbados with opportunities here for them.
“It means our current generation has to do the necessary work. We have to put in the necessary effort. We have to come up with creative and innovative approaches that are going to help a tiny nation in the middle of the Caribbean Sea to make its way in a global trading system that is not as welcoming as we would like it to be. “Barbados is more than 300,000 registered persons; Barbados is where every Barbadian lives, no matter where it is in the world,” she pointed out.