CEO of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, Mark Hill. (BIDC)

The Government of Barbados has been “steadfastly” seeking to increase exportation of its goods and services, especially in Africa, says Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), Mark Hill.

He made the disclosure while highlighting some of government’s plans during the recent cross-border virtual signing ceremony between Barbados companies, Global Integrated FinTech Solutions (GIFTS and iPayAnywhere (iPay) and TelNet Nigerian digital transformation company.

Describing the partnership between the entities as “mutually beneficial” he noted, “This venture that GIFT, iPayAnywhere is engaging in aligns perfectly with the government’s strategic ambition of aggressively entering into the African market…. We are confident that this partnership between GIFTS, iPayAnywhere and Telnet, will not only boost Barbados’ exports of goods and services, but will also constitute an opportunity for employment creation in our country,” Mr. Hill stated.

He applauded the Barbados-based companies GIFTS and iPayAnywhere for taking the bold step to move from local to global, and urged other local companies to explore exporting as a viable means of entrepreneurship going forward.

The CEO of BIDC went on to explain that the organization is pursuing its stated mandate of contributing to the diversification and growth of Barbados’ economy, through increased exports of products and services.

A number of initiatives to assist local businesses in confronting challenges in their efforts to export goods and services have been implemented. One of the main initiatives, Mr. Hill shared, was the establishment of an academy unit within Export Barbados which seeks to enhance the export awareness and education among stakeholders.

Also speaking at the signing ceremony was Executive Director of Caribbean Export Development Agency (CARIB-EXPORT), Deodat Maharaj, who thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for spearheading the initiative and making the signing ceremony possible.

He said, “The Caribbean and Africa are inextricably linked, and intertwined, and as our regions grow, develop and transform, there are immense opportunities for trade and investment and partnerships… and it is delightful to see that we are doing it here with Barbados and Africa, translating that rich and inextricable history into business and commercial opportunities, for the benefit of African people and for Caribbean people.”

The CEO of CARIB-EXPORT noted that businesses have been experiencing difficult times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he described as a “deleterious impact”, and emphasised that it is imperative for digital transformation to occur across the region, in order to facilitate cross border trade in a cost effective and efficient manner, if regional businesses are to be sustainable.

Mr. Maharaj expressed the hope that today’s signing ceremony would be the first step in a long and enduring commercial partnership between Africa and the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency’s remit is to advance Caribbean trade globally, and to promote and steer foreign direct investment to the Caribbean. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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