Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. David Estwick (left), his wife and Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, at the opening ceremony of BMEX at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (C. Pitt/BGIS)
Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. David Estwick, has announced a comprehensive overhaul of the Barbados Industrial Development Corporation (BIDC) to give it more flexibility in meeting the needs of its stakeholders.
He made this disclosure recently, during the official opening ceremony of the just concluded 29th Barbados Manufacturers’ Exhibition at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.??
Noting that the BIDC must keep in sync with changes in the manufacturing sector, Dr. Estwick said the department must be retooled to become a self-financed entity that would respond to the needs of its clients.
He also alluded to the creation of a comprehensive Industrial Policy and the establishment of an Industrial Development Commission to guide the future development of the sector, as initiatives that would assist in the reorganisation of the Corporation.
The Economic Affairs Minister also lamented the present difficulties which manufacturers continued to encounter when accessing funds from entities such as The Enterprise Growth Fund Limited and Fund Access.
Dr. Estwick opined: "A number of reasons have been advanced for this situation, including that manufacturers who need funds urgently, do not meet the guidelines set out by the lending agencies … I am convinced, that now is the appropriate time for the Government to streamline the administration of funding provided by the state, to assist in the development of the industrial sector."
The four-day trade exposition, which began on Friday, May 21, and attracted more than 150 local and overseas exhibitors, concluded last Monday, May 24.