Policy reforms vital to restoring economic growth

Government is committed to restoring economic growth and stability by creating the enabling framework through which businesses may emerge and thrive.

Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business, Sandra Husbands said this growth would be achieved by developing and prioritising which policy reforms will have the greatest impact on the private sector and managing the limited resources to fund the design and execution of the reforms.

Husbands was addressing the launch of the Business Management Research Think Tank (BMRTT) and Business Roundtable Forum at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management on the Cave Hill campus of the University of West Indies.

“For that reason, the Ministry of Energy and Business has been assigned responsibility for facilitating trade, increasing competitiveness and stabilising the prices of essential commodities to boost employment and income generation, whilst simultaneously promoting the provision of a fair and regulated marketplace,” she said.

“It is understood that creating an enabling environment that promotes ingenuity and provides opportunities for all strata of the business community, calls for multi-pronged strategic implementation and involvement at all levels. This includes the government, a cross-section of the productive and educational sectors, as well as civil society.”

The minister said the government was pursuing several initiatives to provide holistic support to the commercial sector, inclusive of the entrepreneurial class.

She highlighted one of them as enhancing the productive and export capacity of the business community and the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector in particular, by developing Barbados’ National Quality Infrastructure.

Husbands noted that this initiative would significantly enhance the international competitiveness of Barbadian enterprises and stakeholders in all sectors of the economy.

She added that the seamless facilitation of business and cross border trade was another cornerstone of government’s agenda, as she spoke about the importance of the Barbados Electronic Single Window for Trade.

“The Barbados Electronic Single Window will revolutionise Barbados’ trading system and make it easier for businesses and entrepreneurs to conduct their business with greater efficiency by reducing the turnaround time and transaction costs,” she said.

Describing the BMRTT as a “welcomed fillip to the fostering of economic development”, she said its implementation would strengthen the Barbadian business-enabling landscape, sustain industries and productive sectors, and see the emergence of new untapped sectors that could stimulate business.

The BMRTT is a collaboration between the Barbados Private Sector Association and the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management.

It will aim to identify the needs of the business community and address them by facilitating high impact research that will be used to generate positive change, such as improving business processes and the development of the industries and new sectors.

The BMRTT will, among other things, identify crucial business and management issues, and publish clear, precise and timely analysis; create a space for knowledge sharing and mutual learning for effective business policy impacts and development results; and generate and increase investment from industry, donors and organisations in high impact research that can secure the sustainability of the country and wider region.

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