Prime Minister David Thompson greeting Krosfyah band members Tony ‘Rebel’ Bailey??(left) and Edwin??Yearwood, at Ilaro??Court.??

Government will be introducing a new cultural industries policy next year.

This was announced yesterday by Prime Minister David Thompson, at a press briefing at Ilaro Court to reveal plans to launch Krosfyah’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

The Prime Minister, who is also the band’s patron, explained that the new policy would facilitate a "wide range of artistic pursuits… to create in Barbados another economic sector … for which we have to make significant investment, both private sector and government."

Mr. Thompson stated that the cultural industries policy would cover a wide range of activities. "The object is really to develop the cultural industries as another sector, just like you have the sugar industry or manufacturing sector, international business or the tourism sector," he said.

He noted that to make this come to fruition, an appropriate regime of incentives via legislation, as well as encouragement of private sector support for the industry, would be necessary.

"And, when talking about incentives, I am talking about the removal of certain duties and taxes on inputs into the cultural industries; the inputs?? that may go towards making CDs; equipment that can be used particularly where the products that can be produced earn foreign exchange for Barbados," Mr. Thompson remarked.

In identifying aspects of the new National Policy, the Prime Minister pointed out that these related "to the percentage expenditure that should be undertaken by government on visual arts… so that we would provide a ready market for the artists."

Speaking about the need for the Barbados brand to be more widely publicised overseas, he identified the link between local cultural workers and the diaspora as an important one. He underlined that the island, had, over time, seen a steady decline of its activities in the diaspora, particularly in the United Kingdom. "We need to restore that," the Prime Minister declared.

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