Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business, Sandra Husbands. (FP)

Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business, Sandra Husbands, has emphasised the importance of businesses embracing new and emerging technologies.

Ms. Husbands expressed the view recently as she delivered remarks at the Virtual Co-operative Forum, held as part of the activities to observe International Co-operatives Day on Saturday, July 2.

The Minister told her online audience that in today’s fast changing world, people could not go back to doing things in the same way they did before.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to us all that new methods must be utilised not only to survive, but to rebuild and thrive in today’s evolving world,” she said.

She noted that as a result of the pandemic, it became necessary for businesses and individuals to embrace new online innovations, such as the Zoom platform, to remain viable during 2020 and partially in 2021.

“Today, in 2022, it is even more critical that all businesses, whether small, large, co-operatives, incorporated or however structured, adopt good co-operative values and embrace new and emerging technologies for the benefit and successes of everyone.

“Hence, I am positing that models like the co-operative business model fused with other innovative business models and creative initiatives, will encourage strategic partnerships that allow individuals to work together more efficiently, using their talents to proactively participate and contribute to their community and to build a better world,” Ms. Husbands suggested.

According to the Minister, the strategic partnership between the Co-operative Investment Fund and Co-Founder of the electronic wallet MyReadyCash, Keith Downer, in conjunction with the US-based firm Tech Blue, was testimony to the fusion of the co-operative business model and a new innovative business model.

The MyReadyCash app, she explained, will allow small business owners an opportunity to move money from anywhere in the world, and to receive money in real time as long as they possessed a mobile phone.

“It is very interesting and heartening to note that this initiative is in line with the goals set by … Government to accomplish the creation of MyEconomy, which will offer a digital account to every Barbadian and enable our nationals to share or sell digital content with the world.

“This will effectively expand the local economy beyond our physical borders and eliminate the constraints of small markets and population size. The further expansion of the digitalisation of government services and access to information will enable greater speed, efficiency and the ease of doing business for Barbadians and international investors,” Ms. Husbands indicated.

During the remarks, the Minister reiterated the importance of co-operatives, saying they had made a positive contribution to poverty alleviation, the creation of employment and social integration globally.

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