Dr. David Estwick (FP)??

Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, has advised local businesses to utilise networking as a means of revitalising their operations during the economic downturn.

He made this observation recently, while addressing the Business Network International (BNI) Networking Week breakfast. The event was held at the Dining Club, Newton Industrial Estate, Christ Church.

Dr. Estwick said: "If one examines the building blocks of America’s most successful technology communities, one will discover that they are all highly networked communities in the business and social spheres.

"Networks are as important to business and governments as a solid information base … They can provide stronger links to the global economy, in which Barbados must compete, in order to thrive in the 21st century," he opined.

The Economic Affairs Minister cautioned that the island would not move ahead by competing with regional companies, but must position itself to "producing globally competitive goods and services, while working as part of a larger region".

Dr. Estwick stressed that networking would also serve as "the additional eyes and ears of the world" and credited BNI for establishing operations in 43 countries during its 25 years of existence.

"There is strength in numbers, as most other industries and trade groups in Barbados have learned over the years. BNI has proven itself as a positive global cohort, to give voice to the business community as a whole, from the bottom up," he added.

The Economic Affairs Minister stressed that Government’s efforts would be guided by its policy objectives that were outlined in the 2008 Manifesto and Throne Speech. To this end, Dr. Estwick disclosed that inter-disciplinary committees comprising ministers, members of the social partnership and the informal sector, had been established to tackle all aspects of the economy.

"As our Government continues to look for new and innovative ways to stabilise the economy and create jobs for the short and medium term, we have to look at the strengths of networking agencies such as BNI, that are more often than not, in a position to bring new synergies that could lead to the creation of a viable opportunity," the Economic Affairs Minister pointed out.


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