Barbadians now have the opportunity to make more informed decisions when it comes to shopping.

This is due to an initiative by the Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, who today officially launched their web-enabled database, which is designed to track domestic and international prices of commodities whilst assisting consumers with their shopping experience.

And, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, has given the initiative the ???thumbs up???, stating that the launch of the database would help individuals keep abreast of international price movements and assist consumers in responding appropriately here in Barbados.

He made these comments this morning as he delivered the feature address at the launch of the web-enabled database at The Courtyard by Marriott???s, Hastings Christ Church. ??While praising staff for their foresight, the Minister said that over the last decade they have witnessed ???significant changes in food prices around the world as well as changes in fuel prices.???

He said: ??????As one can generally appreciate, Barbados is generally a price taker in respect to most of the items we consume??? So, when the prices on the world market rise, we, of course, in a few months??? time feel that increase in prices. Likewise, when goods on the world market decrease we are expected to feel that decrease as well, although that does not always work out.???

Mr. Inniss further added that in light of all of this his Ministry was making a concerted effort where possible to inform consumers of getting the best value for their money.????????Let me hasten to add that the monitoring of global food prices and the disseminating of the said information will not in and by itself result in a lower cost of living at the individual level if we here in Barbados do not continue to work harder on separating our needs from our wants and acting appropriately,??? he underscored.

Furthermore, the Minister contended that increased efforts to produce and consume more of what we produce must no longer be seen as an elusive goal.

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