Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, believes Barbados stands to benefit by exploring economic opportunities in renewable energy, agri-business, health and wellness and the creative economy.
He made this assertion during a recent interview with the Barbados Government Information Service.
Describing these sectors as priority areas, Mr. Symmonds said once opportunities in renewable energy are fully exploited, then there can be “a serious discussion about the manufacturing sector once again”.
“The mandate [for the Ministry] really is economic restructuring and to lead the process of economic restructuring via a number of priority areas and that is not to say that other sectors such as personal care, construction and transportation wouldn’t benefit from the attention that the Ministry wants to pay on these priority areas.
However, we must make sure that we broaden the scope of economic activities in Barbados in circumstances where we have some control of what we are doing,” Minister Symmonds underlined.
The Minister added that government must create an environment that facilitates growth, helps to make the conduct of business easier and to generate economic activity and employment to stave off unemployment.
Mr. Symmonds noted that previous discussions seeking an alternative for economic development strategies had yielded limited progress.
However, he said the COVID-19 pandemic showed that “a reliance on tourism which we have done for several decades places us in circumstances where we cannot control our destiny…but have to live in hope that people would take the risk to vacation outside of their home country”.
Mr. Symmonds added: “Barbados can’t simply watch, hope and pray, but must be in a position to direct our own destiny.”