Barbados and the rest of the region have yet to foster an export culture.
This concern was expressed recently by Industry Minister, Donville Inniss, during a courtesy call with the Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Barbados, Daniela Tramacere, at his Reef Road office.
Mr. Inniss stated that this country, as well as the Eastern Caribbean, have not been able to foster that type of culture, especially one that is not overly dependent on the State.
Remarking that Barbados was still “struggling” to have a culture of entrepreneurship, the Minister noted that many local businesses still depended on the State for some kind of assistance, whether it was protection, measures or subsidies.
Pointing out that perhaps this was due to the economies of scale, he stated that it was possible that Barbados just did not have the “right size market to justify certain things”.
“It would be great if we could get people to realise that the world is their oyster and to not just focus on Barbados and the Caribbean,” he maintained.
Mr. Inniss said he believed the future laid in the services sector, and unless businesses can innovate and find unique products and processes, then Barbados would simply have to rely on that particular sector.
The International Business Minister thanked Ms. Tramacere for her organisation’s support over the years. However, he pointed out that he did not think that the Economic Partnership Agreement, which was signed in October 2008, was being maximised to its fullest potential.
Other areas discussed during the meeting included the role of the private sector in national development; business facilitation; the financial services sector and entrepreneurship.