The government of Barbados has once again thrown its support behind an initiative by the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), in collaboration with other strategic partners, to stage an International Business Week on the island between October 21 and 27.
Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson said the week would bring to the public’s attention the importance of the international business sector to the country.
Speaking during the recent press conference to launch the week at Hilton Barbados, Hutson said: “The theme: Innovation: Our Path to New Horizons is indeed fitting for this year as Barbados makes strides to foster the development of entrepreneurs and innovators.”
He added that his ministry, with the assistance of its strategic partners, had already made strides to create new products and services which would benefit the sector and satisfy the needs of investors in the market.
President of BIBA, Melanie Jones, explained the theme was chosen to reflect the understanding that global dynamics compelled companies and individuals to find creative ways to outperform the competition if they wished to remain relevant and prosper.
“Put another way, we must innovate or perish. Barbados is a small open economy with limited resources and we are extremely vulnerable to all sorts of external shocks, be they economic or natural hazards,” she said.
Jones added that the international business sector was the perfect catalyst for the cycle of innovation and growth. “The inward knowledge transfer, benchmarking against global standards and exchange of human capital between Barbados and the rest of the world, is fertile ground on which the seeds of innovation can grow,” she said.
She pointed out that the transformation effect that the international business sector had on Barbados’ social and economic landscape could already be seen in a number of areas including the country’s modern international airport, the highway, the telecommunications sector and the extension of “towns” in the country.
“This growth has had far reaching effects on the lives of those directly and indirectly employed by the international business sector, and so we strongly believe that the continued advancement of Barbados as an international business centre is key to reviving our island’s prosperity and sustaining an enviable standard of living for all Barbadians,” Jones said.
This year’s International Business week’s activities will kick off on Sunday, October 21 with a church service at the St. George Parish Church, The Glebe, St. George, beginning at 9:15 a.m. At 4:00 p.m. the BIBA Charity Health Walk/Run will leave BIBA’s office at Belleville, St. Michael and proceed to the Dippers Bar at the Cruising Club, Aquatic Gap, St. Michael via the Garrison.
On Monday, October 22, officials will discuss the transformative potential of the international business sector on Down-to-Brass Tacks call-in programme from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. On the Tuesday, the fourth annual Careers Showcase will take place at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. It will allow tertiary level students with an interest in the international business sector to receive expert guidance from representatives across the sector.
The second annual schools’ symposium designed to teach fifth and sixth form students more about the sector will take place on Wednesday, October 24 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), two Mile Hill, St Michael from 9:00 a.m. This will be followed by the fourth annual International Business Week public discussion forum on the topic: Barbados to the World! Live Locally, Work Globally at the LESC from 7:00 p.m.
On Thursday, October 25, and continuing Friday, October 26, the third International Business Conference will be staged under the theme: Creative Approaches for Global Expansion at the Hilton Barbados, Needhams Point, St. Michael from 8:30 a.m. on both days.