Barbados is currently in discussions with its CARIFORUM partners to develop a regional plan for the development of the professional services sector.
And, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands, said this is being done in an effort to improve competitiveness and to grow trade.
“Among the outcomes envisaged from this collaboration is the simplification of the registration process for professionals, making it easier to move within the region,” Ms. Husbands explained. She made the comments in a statement to observe International Consultants Day, on Thursday, June 2.
The Minister said Barbados’ services sector continues to contribute positively to the national economy, particularly in the areas of job creation, foreign exchange earnings and investment. She added that the country enjoys a positive trade surplus in services, with the sector generating, on average, well over $BDS 2 billion in trade.
Government, she continued, has championed initiatives to promote the development of the professional services sector, including consultancy services, as part of its growth and economic diversification strategy.
“Professional services play a key supporting role by providing much needed support to other key sectors in the economy. Outlined within the National Trade Policy for Barbados are several policy measures aimed at developing the competitiveness, trade and business performance of the sub-sector.
“These measures cover broad areas such as industry financing and infrastructure development, institutional, legislative and regulatory modernisation, market development and opportunities, trade facilitation and trade promotion,” she explained.
Ms. Husbands acknowledged the efforts of the International Management Consulting professional body (CMC-Global), the Caribbean Institute of Management Consultants and the Barbados Chapter, and all other Chapters for the role they played in developing the consultancy services sub-sector.
She pointed out that the local Chapter had played a significant role in providing services to the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries in preparing a number of small businesses to get ready for export.
“In addition, they have successfully advocated for an ISO qualification in management consulting, thus giving confidence to the public and private sectors that they have available to them a pool of internationally qualified consultants who can deliver services which grow and sustain enterprises and organisations,” she stated.
Ms. Husbands said the Ministry of Energy and Business remains committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure the creation of the enabling environment for the further development and expansion of the services sector.