??Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson. (FP)

A new strategic plan for Barbados will embody strategies which will make this country’s aspirations for its international business and financial services export capacity a reality.

This assurance was given by Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, as he addressed this morning’s International Business Stakeholders’ Consultation at Hilton Barbados.

Mr. Hutson said as the 2007 to 2012 Strategic Plan came to an end this year, the challenge would now be to chart a new path and a new developmental strategy for the international business sector.

"The short and medium-term strategy which arose out of our last consultation centred on a set of initiatives to guide us to the year 2013. Over the next few months we need to review that plan, evaluating those objectives which were achieved and those which have not yet been implemented or achieved," he said.

Mr. Hutson added that the institutional strengthening and restructuring of the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office and the International Business Unit, were still to be completed and implemented.

The Minister added that the global architecture continued to shift, and placed additional requirements on conceptualising new policy prescriptions which outlined a clear path to the future and to meet the growing demand for new products and the improved delivery of services.

Mr. Hutson said it was expected that the consultation would provide a forum and platform for the conceptualisation of a range of recommendations that would create the policy construct to allow for the future success and development of the international business sector.

"There can be no doubt that these are changing and challenging times for small developing states such as ours which seek to create a niche in the world of international cross border trade. These challenges inspire us as well as require us to innovate in such ways that differentiate us from the rest of the world," he pointed out.

Among the challenges confronting the sector recently were the Organisation of Economic Development Global Forum Peer Review process, of which Barbados has completed its Phase One assessment and will enter Phase Two within the first quarter of next year.

Outstanding recommendations to be addressed from the first phase will be overseen by a Cabinet-approved committee chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Business, Gabrielle Springer.?? This will ensure it is done in a timely matter to allow for the Phase Two assessment to be executed efficiently.

"The Department of Inland Revenue, the Central Bank, the Office of the Registrar of Companies will be the agencies at the forefront of this phase of the review process," Mr. Hutson said.


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