Barbados Foreign Minister: Cultural Industries Critical for Development


Above: Bridgetown, Barbados (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The cultural industries are a critical sector for Barbados’ development, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean.

McClean was speaking following a courtesy call from Andrew Senior, a UNESCO consultant.

In June, Barbados’ Garrison area was officially inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Senior was in Barbados conducting research for a new European Union-funded programme aimed at determining the type of technical and economic assistance required for developing the creative and cultural sectors in 12 undisclosed countries.

His research showed that the industry was characterized by small businesses “with international persons or agencies looking into see what they could get … and commercial entities did not regard culture in economic terms.”

McClean said Barbados and CARICOM were small marketplaces that were focusing on building hemispheric relations in the field.

Culture was one of seven priority sectors identified by the Caribbean Community.

CARICOM has established a Regional Task Force on Cultural Industries looking to develop a comprehensive regional strategy in the sector.