Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley today identified some areas of possible investment opportunities in Barbados’ blue economy, while addressing an international forum, which included investors.
However, Ms. Mottley said that even though the country was seeking to establish itself as an effective maritime nation and foster a sustainable blue economy, it would balance the need to allow investors a reasonable rate of return, while giving priority to environmental protection.
She gave this assurance as she addressed a webinar entitled: Investing in the SDGs: from Rhetoric to Reality, organised in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
The event explored how the joint (Sustainable Development Goals) SDG Fund could contribute to closing the financing gap to achieve the SDGs in developing countries by bringing together the UN system and the private sector.
The Prime Minister listed those areas in which there could be investment as maritime logistics and transport; marine biotechnology; renewable ocean energy deployment of marine and ocean energy technologies; and offshore energy production and generation.
Regarding maritime logistics and transport, she said it was necessary to create a new cruise facility to separate cruise passenger arrival from cargo in the Bridgetown port.
“Ferries for marine transport options connecting the Caribbean; … construction of berths and jetties around the island to facilitate local, regional and international boating; and of course, the use of the Bridgetown Port as a logistics hub to connect Europe, Africa, North America and Latin America…,” were needed, she explained.
Ms. Mottley added that in relation to marine biotechnology, global biotech firms could set up and operate production in Barbados in a new Science and Technology Park, to be launched, for the research, development and manufacturing of new marine-based health care goods, products and services.
She told her audience: “We are also ready to develop value added fish products, including exotic leathers from fish skins.
“Barbados considers financing as investment a possible path to pursue. Like the Seychelles, we are open to the idea of blue bonds and are willing to consider a partnership to pursue this. This kind of innovative financing meets the criteria for blue economic growth as a sustainable component of the national economy. The truth is, that as a destination for investment, we in the Caribbean have much to offer.”
The Prime Minister noted that recent studies have suggested that the ocean around Barbados has the resource capacity to power the entire nation, and parts of the wider Caribbean.
She underscored the importance of investing in ecology through the creation of a strong green and blue economy.
“Barbados takes this step, in recognition that as an island state beset by the dangers of climate change, the protection of our national ecosystem is important. We cannot so over exploit our natural resources that we jeopardise the economic gains and social stability on which our growth and sustainability are predicated,” she stated.
Ms. Mottley said it was imperative that Barbados and other Caribbean islands sought partnerships and investors in nature-based solutions and a long-term green growth and development strategy.