Government is well on its way to addressing the stumbling blocks that have hindered the emergence of the cultural industries sector as a major player in the island’s economic development.

Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett, revealed that Cabinet had recently approved the National Cultural Policy and the National Strategy for the Development of the Cultural Industries, respectively, to stimulate the development of the sector.

He made these comments last Saturday, while giving an overview of the cultural industries during the just concluded three-day Barbados Network Consultation’s Inaugural Diaspora Conference.?? It was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Mr. Blackett added that the strategy would not only address the challenges to be overcome, but, would also focus on the regulatory framework and the incentives, concessions credits and exemptions designed to promote the development of the sector.

He opined: "Direct benefits will accrue to approved cultural practitioners, corporate and governmental entities, including projects for cultural heritage and film development."

The Minister also pointed out the positive elements of the initiative. "It is intended to create a climate of stimulating investment, capitalisation of the sector, facilitating training, research and product development.?? The strategy would also establish a funding mechanism and strengthen the regime for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights."

Mr. Blackett underscored the importance of the human capital and maintained that an investment in the creative talent, skills and expression of our people was a sound and sustainable investment.

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