Prime Minister David Thompson arriving at the National Consultation on the International Business Sector at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

In light of the current global economic crisis, the identification of investment from so-called “recession proof” industries must take place.

This observation was made yesterday by Prime Minister David Thompson as he delivered the feature address at the National Consultation on the International Business Sector at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Those industries, he said, would include pharmaceuticals, reinsurance, services, education and healthcare services, as well as the research and development departments of major international brands.

Mr. Thompson also suggested that this should be coupled with the launch of marketing programmes specifically targeting newly-endorsed products such as the Barbados Qualifying Insurance Company in the Canadian market.

“There must be coordination of the marketing strategies of the Barbados Tourism Authority and Invest Barbados to accomplish the vision for Barbados as a premier destination for tourism and international business,” he added. 

The Prime Minister assured those present at the consultation that Government was “managing the unfolding challenges and the threat they pose to social stability and the economy”.

He noted that the Draft International Business Action Plan had recognised a number of risks to the sector as a result of the causes and proposed remedies for the current financial crisis. These included a shortage of suitably trained and skilled individuals, lack of clarity on the role of Invest Barbados and lack of cooperation between domestic agencies.

Mr. Thompson also outlined some of the specific policy responses suggested for the sector, such as the design and marketing of specific products for selected clients; the provision of resources for Invest Barbados to match its mandate; and expansion of Barbados’ tax and investment treaty network. 

He urged the participants to “find new and grasp emerging opportunities which will invariably present themselves amid the challenges of the future”.

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