Barbados is set to showcase its best on the world stage under the theme ‘From Sugar Cane to Blockchain’ as part of the Dubai Expo 2020. Export Barbados (BIDC) will be represented at the quinquennial event slated for October 1 by two youths from its Export Academy programme, Brennan Carter and Taahir Bulbilia.
CEO of Export Barbados, Mark Hill, said he was excited about the venture, as this was yet another way for Barbados to gain recognition in the international market for its “economic transition and progression over the years.”
“This Expo is a prime opportunity for us to show the world that we are consistent in the production of goods and services that can compete on a global level, even in places like Dubai. It’s a chance to show that Barbados’ economic ability is not only reliant upon the products we export but our greatest resource yet; our people,” Hill said, noting that he was pleased with the selection of young representatives.
Emphasizing that there was an important role for the youth to play in the economic development of the country, Hill said he strongly supported the idea of “getting the next generation involved in exports and global trade to help earn new levels of foreign exchange for the future economy.
“The key focus is how do we get the next generation involved in exports, global trade, and learning how to penetrate the international market with all the tools that are needed. I fully endorse this venture which will see the youth positioned to explore and exploit the various opportunities that will come from this Dubai trip,” Hill noted.
Brennan Carter and Taahir Bulbilia’s participation in the Expo is made possible through a collaboration between Export Barbados (BIDC) and Invest Barbados. Carter, a 26-year-old university graduate said that he was eager to show that there was much more to Barbados than beautiful beaches.
“Barbados has a lot to offer in terms of export and trading on the international stage. Areas such as manufacturing and renewable energy, the latter which can help us achieve our 2030 goal [to be fully renewable]. The project developer who has a master’s degree in electronics and electrical engineering said the opportunity provided to him by Export Barbados (BIDC) to attend the Dubai Expo was something of which he could only dream.
Twenty-two-year-old sports management professional, Taahir Bulbilia, who is also the country’s sports ambassador to FISU, said he was “honored to represent Barbados in a venture that could gain export and investment opportunities for the country.
“We must look to develop our economy and our booth showcases that through the different aspects from sugar cane to blockchain. It shows every aspect of our development,” he noted, adding that the “current pandemic has taught us the importance of diversifying the economy.”
The Dubai Expo runs for six months. Bulbulia departs the country this Friday for the Middle East while Carter leaves in January next year. The pair will be chaperoned by Senior Business Development Officer of Export Barbados (BIDC), Coral Taylor, who said that the 2019 collaboration with Invest Barbados to send a team to Dubai was a decision that would “greatly benefit the country”. Taylor who is the coordinator of the Export Academy pointed out that the academy was a new initiative and was on target to achieve its goal of shaping a cadre of young undergraduates into global citizens.
“We are looking at getting them into various markets. We are focusing on trade development and how we can export our goods and services. The experience and exposure they will gain at Dubai Expo 2020 will equip them with the ability and experience required to sell Barbados,” Taylor said.