A new business venture designed to save and earn foreign exchange for this country could help put Barbados on the path for further economic growth and development.

And, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, has thrown his full support behind the new enterprise by reiterating his administration???s commitment to helping develop the Barbadian economy and also placing greater emphasis on the alternative energy sector.

Addressing the official opening this morning of Superior Solar Power Solutions Ltd. at Friendship Terrace, Lodge Hill, St. Michael, Minister Inniss said: ???We must come to the realisation that our problems are structural in nature and, hence, previously tried cosmetic solutions will not place this island on a sustainable growth path. If the problems are structural in nature, then the solutions must be equally structural in nature.???

Mr. Inniss, therefore, emphasised that with this analysis the opportunity exists for Barbadians to finally realise that growth in this economy must be private sector led.

He pointed out that Government must provide the enabling environment that would allow for the genuine private sector to identify its potential, establish itself and to grow and diversify in an unfettered manner: ???Simply put, we must be very clear as to the role of the state and the role of the private sector. Private sector here defined to include civil society,??? he added.

Noting that the private sector on the other hand must see itself as truly independent and entrepreneurial, the Minister continued: ???It is my considered opinion that we still have some ways to go to build a truly vibrant, independent and competitive private sector in Barbados. One that is more creative, financially independent, visionary and willing to take on greater risks, including venturing into other markets.

???Within this perspective is a thought that a private sector that is overly dependent on the state for concessions, grants and protectionism is like a 20 year-old man that still craves his mother???s breast milk each morning. There must come a time when you have to go out there and face the music,??? he charged.

While lauding key stakeholders for investing in the solar industry which Government has identified as a growth area, the Minister lamented that this country could not continue to spend $800 million per year importing fossil fuel. He referred to the new Electric Light and Power Act which was introduced to firmly place alternative and renewable energy on our economic landscape.

???It is absolutely necessary that we take full advantage of the legislation and the attendant duty free concessions offered to help develop this sector. It is my considered opinion that Barbados has an excellent opportunity to create a true alternative/renewable energy industry???,??? the Minister observed.


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