Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Patrick Todd??

There is a promise from Government to put systems in place to further enhance Barbados’ reputation as the "business mecca" in the Caribbean.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Patrick Todd, gave this undertaking last Thursday, while addressing the Kraft Foods launch, at the Concorde Experience, Seawell, Christ Church.

Emphasising that Government would provide the framework to foster long term stability, he added: "This brand launch, which features not only familiar products, but also introduces new products to our shores, is evidence of the fact that we are creating the enabling environment that fosters opportunities for product and business expansion."

Notwithstanding Government’s efforts in this regard, Mr. Todd challenged the suppliers to not only assist in promoting locally produced products throughout the region, but to give back to the communities which they have served for several years.

"I also implore you that as your businesses continue to grow and become more viable that you should continue to give back to the communities which have supported you over the years, thereby contributing to your success.

"This may, among other things, be in the form of donating special forms of educational advancing technologies – computer equipment and the like, providing scholarships or even conducting educational programmes that are geared towards meeting the needs of the present business environment and solving the social, economic and environmental problems, which Barbados may face in the 21st Century," the Minister of State surmised.

He lauded Facey Commodity Company (Barbados) Limited for boosting the island’s competitive edge in the food and beverage sector with the introduction of new brands.

"…Barbadians will be able to benefit from greater products at lower prices. Thus, this would also raise the profile of the local food and beverage industry as local competing producers seek to improve the quality of their products, in order to compete with the more internationally recognised brands," Mr. Todd added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, expressed the hope that Facey’s enhanced commodities line would lead to job creation. "As you know, our unemployment figures right now are a little higher than we would want them.

Even though they are lower than what you would see in other countries, it is no reason for us as a Government to pat ourselves on the back that our unemployment figures are better than some.

"Certainly we know that the impacts for people across Barbados with unemployment as high as 10 per cent is still … a bit too much for us … and our people are feeling it. So, every opportunity that we can seek to enhance employment we welcome," she observed. jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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