Government has announced a six-pronged national plan to propel Barbados as the leading information communications technology (ICTs) hub in the region and on the international stage, by 2015.??

Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, revealed this while addressing the Barbados Information Society’s Dinner in honour of Central Bank Governor, Dr. Delisle Worrell.?? The event was held last Friday at Hilton Barbados.

He said government was committed to converting the island to E-country status and, to this end, the Division of Trade, Industry and Commerce, had drafted a National ICT Plan which had already received Cabinet approval.

As part of this strategy, Dr. Estwick noted that the paper aimed to develop an ICT literate society which would allow all citizens to participate in the Information Society; and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the island and to provide the public with easy access to ICTs across the island.

The plan also seeks to position Barbados as a competitive jurisdiction; transform the public and business sectors to an e-environment; and facilitate the continuity of governance in national disasters.

"The use of ICTs within the public sector is being actively promoted as a catalyst which will serve to stimulate productivity and competitiveness and to respond to the increasing adoption of technology-based systems by the business community," Dr. Estwick remarked.??

Additionally, the Economic Affairs Minister revealed plans to roll-out an on-line services project within the Division of Trade, in response to numerous requests for such a facility by the business community. Through this service, applications for import licenses would be completed on-line.??

It would also make some services of the Office of Public Counsel, the Supervisor of Insolvency and the Cooperatives Department, available on-line.

Dr. Estwick observed that legislation had been put in place to create the "requisite legal and regulatory framework which is essential to conduct business in this new and emerging environment".??

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