Developing an export thrust is essential for Barbados.
As such, the Ministry of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology is pursuing several initiatives, including establishing an Export Bank, which is intended to help boost exports from the island.
The proposed Export Bank would allow businesses to access financing for purchase orders by providing the monetary support required to readily fulfil large regional and international orders on time. A perennial challenge facing the island has been the relatively small group of products available for export; it is believed that the Bank will help address that challenge and is the best way forward for industries in Barbados.
Export Barbados’ innovation challenge, dubbed the ‘National Innovation Challenge: from Discovery to Global Sales’ is also helping to develop the export mindset among businesses and Barbadians. Through the challenge series, efforts are being made to leverage Barbadian talent and drive innovation inclusively and diversely, with increased exports being the ultimate goal. Therefore, the series presents small businesses seeking to be discovered and go global with opportunities to do so.
The benefits derived from the challenge series are two-fold. For the entrepreneur, it provides access to critical business development support and the opportunity to scale up and pursue export markets. For the country, it provides opportunities for Barbados to increase exports and diversify its export base.
Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology Davidson Ishmael, reflecting on the challenge series, said, “Ideally, the aim of the challenge series would be to discover new and improved solutions to old and new problems and problems that are on the horizon. That is the true essence of innovation. This effort will not just increase the number of export products in our product and service mix, but it will enhance that mix and empower us as a nation, so that we are not as dependent on the earnings generated from just a small cadre of products”.