If more Barbadian businesses are to survive and to expand, then they need to be more competitive.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, threw out this challenge as he addressed the graduation ceremony of the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP), last Saturday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

It was held under the theme The Pursuit of Success- the Future Belongs to Those Who Believe in Their Dreams.

Mr. Inniss said: ???In order to be competitive, companies must use all available legal, technological and ethical means at their disposal to minimise production costs in order to offer the best in commodities and services. And a highly qualified, trained and skilled labour force, operating within a strong human resource framework adds extra power and tangible contributions to the growth of businesses, and augurs well for the economic well-being of the country and its citizens.???

He contended that instead of persons relying on the traditional ways of doing business, ???a more aggressive and modern approach??? had to be adapted and adopted where necessary. ???We must learn quickly and, at times, differently,??? he stressed.

He maintained that education was ???a key component in this endeavour??? and pointed out that institutions such as BIMAP had ???a civic responsibility to assist individuals and companies to meet and deal with trends of the current economic environment???.

The Small Business Development minister said that too many companies were not doing enough in depth analysis to be able to reconfigure or re-engineer to ensure their survival, but instead were opting, at times, to close their operations. ???Either they give up too easily or they have no faith that we, as a resilient people, can bounce back as we have done in the past,??? he attested.

Mr. Inniss advised business persons not to allow fear to consume their lives and not to let it to stop them from pursuing their hopes and dreams. He called on corporate Barbados, ???big and small???, to ensure that they ???stayed ahead of the game??? by engaging their most enterprising minds and making great use of training facilities such as BIMAP to build and sustain the human resource ???necessary to stay afloat???.

???Continuous investment in our human resource is key to the success of this island… Government has never been able to nor should ever be expected to fund all human resource development in this country…I am deeply concerned that over the past 30 years or so Barbados has steadfastly been inching its way to becoming one of the most pronounced welfare states in the western world. We almost seem incapable as a nation to not do anything without a subsidy, a concession or a hand-out, a welfare cheque or a government contract or some protectionist policy,??? he lamented.

Mr. Inniss said Government recognised the role of education and human resource development in strengthening the economic, social and cultural fabric of the society and thanked BIMAP for the ???stellar contribution??? it had been making in these areas over the past 41 years.

Over 70 individuals were conferred with certificates, diplomas and degrees during the ceremony, with Davidson Ishmael copping the Scotia Bank Herbert N. Casson Efficiency Award for the Most Outstanding Student Overall for the academic Year 2011 to 2013.


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