Above: Bridgetown (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Businesses in Barbados need to think beyond their domestic markets in order to generate economic growth for the country, according to Commerce Minister Donville Inniss.
The Minister was speaking to stakeholders at the Island Inn in St Michael Thursday about the role of labour standards in accessing international markets.
“The penetration of regional and extra-regional markets is fundamental to the future development of [Barbados’] economy,” he said. “But this cannot be achieved without a new approach by businesses.”
Businesses trade, not government, he said, meaning it “makes little sense for government to become signatories to trade agreements if the business community does not seek to exploit the benefits and opportunities for new and expanded market access.”
And that involves looking beyond Barbados’ borders.
“As we strive to achieve economic stability and growth and development in these trying times, we can no longer rely mainly on the domestic market,” he said. “We must, therefore, seek to expand our market access. Focus must now be placed on utilizing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, which provides access to 14 million people, as an important platform through which local businesses can seek opportunities beyond our domestic space.”
He also said Barbados needs to “redouble” its efforts to maximize the potential businesses benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe.