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

"A strong, vibrant and economically viable industry offering tremendous opportunities to the Barbadian population and foreign investors alike."

This description was given of the international business sector since its beginnings in the 1960’s, by Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson.

He was speaking at the church service last Sunday to open International Business Week, under the theme: Growth and Prosperity for All.

Speaking about the importance of the sector, he said: "Barbadians must be made aware of its contribution to the economic development of Barbados and how it impacts on the lives of ordinary people, our school children and other vulnerable persons in our society."

The Minister mentioned that hundreds of Barbadians were employed in the sector, which he said provides "some 5000 direct jobs…and several jobs in areas such as accounting and auditing, legal, actuarial and providing services to the sector."??

Mr Hutson further explained that jobs had evolved in the areas of international marketing and sales, investment and asset management, accounting and finance, trust administration, actuarial analysis and reporting, law and compliance, governance and risk management, customer service, call centres, systems programming and technology, in addition to other professional and administrative roles. "The sector, therefore, can be said to provide sustainable employment and well-paying jobs, which…can lead to prosperity," he noted.

He also urged all stakeholders to play a part in ensuring the continued growth and development of the sector and Barbados as an international financial hub. Pointing to other efforts, Mr Hutson stated: "On the notion of facilitation of business, Government … has put in place measures to ensure our competitiveness in the international business arena."

He outlined the present work being done by Government with the Inter-American Development Bank on a project to upgrade the Regulatory Framework and Facilitation Processes for Investment Attractions in Barbados. In addition, he added, a Standing Committee on Business Facilitation has been established to address the concerns of the international business sector. Mr. hutson also indicated that Training seminars will be put in place to develop negotiation skills, among others, creating an environment for succession planning and a capacity to negotiate with several countries at the same time.


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