Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands, speaking at yesterday’s presentation ceremony at the Ministry of Education. Looking on are Education Minister, Santia Bradshaw, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Betty Alleyne-Headley. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has been working on creating a ‘diasporic economy’, since 2019.

Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands, disclosed the ministry’s plans on Wednesday, during the presentation of electronic devices from Barbadians working at United Nations (BajUNs) in New York to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training.

She stated: “One of the things that we’re seeking to do is to build out what we term a ‘diasporic economy’, this means mobilizing all of our diaspora, developing a database of their skills, their resources and the opportunities, which they present.

“And to be able to gather from that information what are the potential areas that Barbados could develop new economic activities that can help to drive our growth.”

She stated that the ‘diasporic economy’ was derived as part of the We Gatherin’ initiative, but came to a halt with the advent of COVID-19. 

To restart the programme, the Minister noted the ministry would be seeking to enable the help of the local population, and with the permission of their relatives living overseas, submit their names and contact number.

Emphasizing the need to restart the ‘diasporic economy’, Minister Husbands said: “We recognize the absolute importance for Barbados to engage differently on the international and global stage, and we have recognized how important it is that we broaden our network of friends, that we broaden our network of partners, [so] that we can work together to be able to gain the assistance that we need to represent our interest at the international level.”

Minister Husbands also revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade would be introducing commercial diplomacy training for all staff who work at missions and consulates, and Barbadians in the diaspora. 

She explained that the objective of this training would be “to have as many eyes and ears on the ground as we can to advance our trade interest to discover opportunities for our products, and to make a way for enterprises to be able to engage the global economy.

“This is going to be very important if we’re going to continue to generate prosperity for Barbados,” Minister Husbands said.

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