Now is a good time to invest in Barbados.
That is the message from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Barbadians living abroad, pointing that the opportunity also exists to help entrepreneurs link Barbados to its Diaspora in mutually beneficial ways, so as to create employment and wealth. His comments came as he noted that trade and investment are essential means to economic growth in Barbados and investment from the Diaspora is important to the country.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Barbados Network Consultation 2014 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, he disclosed that in an effort to help entrepreneurs, Government has been giving considerable thought to financial instruments that are attractive to NetWorkers at home and abroad, which would lead to increased uptake of instruments issued by the Government.
“The goal is to raise foreign exchange capital from Barbadians resident abroad and from external holdings of residents of Barbados, and to leverage these resources to support local economic development initiatives. This would be done through a series of initiatives that include more effective marketing and the provision of Government guarantees of safe, reliable and attractive rates of return,” PM Stuart added.
According to the Prime Minister, these instruments include the Barbados National Development (NetWorkers) Bond, which is in the process of being designed, and he has invited those attending the consultation to give their input on the Bond. He explained that such a step is needed because despite the fact that Barbados has established several institutions to help potential entrepreneurs move from the conception of the business ideas to the implementation and success of their ventures, several budding business entrepreneurs complain about the lack of capital to finance their enterprises.
“They claim that the difficulty in accessing adequate investment financing from established financial institutions prevents them from implementing their business plans. And those who persevere end up with business projects that are grossly undercapitalised. Hence the high failure rates of micro enterprises and small businesses,” he suggested.
Meanwhile, referring to some of the topics to be covered in the consultation, the Prime Minister indicated that among the ones that might be of interest to them are ‘Pathways to Trade and Investment’; Family History Workshops; ‘Pathways to Resettlement’; ‘Building of Connectivity Across Generations’ and ‘Pathways to Doing Business in Africa’.
“As you know, Barbados has one of the most effective Pan-African Commissions in the African Diaspora. This Commission has assembled evidence to suggest that the next wave of Barbadian emigrants is likely to be to West Africa. The fact that Nigeria’s economy is about to overtake that of South Africa as the largest in Africa, and the fact that the economy of Ghana is one of the fastest growing economies in the world substantiate this prediction,” he surmised. (JRT)