??Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart. (FP)

Consensus is critical in defending Barbados’ international business sector against the brutally competitive environment in which it operates daily.

This assertion was made by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart this morning as he addressed the International Business Stakeholders’ Consultation at Hilton Barbados.

"When all is said and done, actors in this sector must agree amongst themselves of the real value – financial and otherwise – of this sector to the economy of Barbados. Nothing but consensus in this office will suffice," he said.

But, he conceded that 47 years after the passage of the first piece of legislation to promote the sector, the consensus to which he referred still did not exist.

"The international business and financial services sector, like every other economic sector, is dependent on a well functioning relationship between the Government, Private Sector and the Trade Unions," he said.

During his feature address, Mr. Stuart highlighted the work being done by the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) and Invest Barbados to ensure that this country’s international business and financial services sector remained competitive and provided support to Government through marketing of the sector.

He also gave the assurance that his office would continue to partner with entities such as BIBA and other stakeholders in the industry to continue to drive it forward.

Mr. Stuart stressed that it was with consensus that the various actors in the sector would feel the need to work together with a clear understanding of their interdependence.

"I refer to the International Business Division of the Ministry of International Business and International Transport; the BIBA; the Inland Revenue Department; the Financial Services Commission; the Central Bank of Barbados; the Labour Department; the Immigration Department; the Customs Department and Invest Barbados, among others," the Prime Minister stated.

Mr. Stuart issued the challenge to those present to find and create plausible solutions to the issues raised during their discussions and to develop plans that would gradually remove age-old complaints and obstacles.

"In every economic sector it is crucial that stakeholders come together periodically to deliberate on the issues impacting on the sector, with a view to finding solutions which would chart the best way forward," he said.


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