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Barbados outlines strategies for future growth

By Julie Carrington

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (GIS) – Minister in economic affairs and investment, senator Chad Blackman, has outlined several strategies that the public and private sectors should implement to remove the blockages to tax reforms, to achieve accelerated economic growth.

Senator Blackman said chief among them is addressing challenges regarding population and skills management, given the critical shortage of skills in several areas within the next ten years, and the need to reposition the education system to fill the void.

“In my previous role at the International Labour Organization (ILO), I can tell you one of the major challenges, from one of the reports, is that most of the skills required for jobs that will be in the world within the next ten years, we, as a global community, do not have the skills today.

Therefore, there has to be a repositioning of our educational system, our governance system, our skills management processes in the country, not just Barbados, but in the region to ensure that we can be competitive not just now, within the next one, two, three or four years, and how do we even do beyond the next five years,” he told the audience attending the Barbados Revenue Authority’s Global Tax Update Session at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, April 15, 2024.

It was hosted in conjunction with Invest Barbados, the Barbados International Business Association, the International Business Unit, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados.

Senator Blackman told the in-person and virtual audience that the creation of “Business Barbados” would make it easier for local and international businesses to set up and operate here.

“So, the creation of Business Barbados is critical because it, therefore, means that however, or whoever does business in this country, will therefore have an entity with a sole mandate to ensure that it is as seamless as possible, [as it relates to delivery, opening of business, timelines … it is the critical things like that …,” he suggested.

The minister also mentioned increasing public and private sector partnerships; enhanced modernisation of Barbados’ tax structure; unlocking the mortgage market to satisfy the demand; re-engineering business processes; increased access to financing for the public and private sectors; unlocking renewable energy investment; exporting capital; and establishing a pharmaceutical industry to protect the health of citizens, as avenues to be pursued.

Senator Blackman also wants to see the development of Barbados as an agro-processing hub; the incentivising of the film and arts industry, and the creation of new employment opportunities.

He stated: “Government’s goal is to ensure that the sector remains viable and sustainable.  I want to urge you to reimagine how to take the jurisdiction forward…and you being on the ground in the private sector – regionally and internationally – help us, as we have helped you forge that way forward.”



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