This week, the Cabinet will be asked to approve a paper from the Ministry of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology in support of a legislative amendment in Parliament to officially change the name of the Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC) to Export Barbados.
The Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, the Honorable Davidson Ishmael, made this announcement in the House of Assembly last week as he participated in the debate on the resolution to approve the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Plan 2022.
The BIDC, which commenced operations on December 1, 1992, and is tasked with promoting the development of industrial, export, and related activities in Barbados, has since 2021 been trading as Export Barbados (BIDC). The green light by the Cabinet for the bill, facilitating the name change to be adopted by Parliament, will be the first step in making the change permanent.
Minister Ishmael stated that the legislative rebranding is part of the government’s strategy to boost exports in keeping with Pillar 5 of the BERT Plan. He indicated that the overall goal is for exports to exceed US$1 billion, noting that exports must increase if Barbados wants to be competitive.
Minister Ishmael continued, “We’re repositioning the organization to have a greater export oriented focus, so it was necessary for us to even do the rebranding of the organization itself. The repositioning and restructuring the organization have been going on for several months, and the organization is already producing significant results. Mr. Speaker, certified exports over the period January to September of this year have grown and shown an increase of 18.8% over the same period last year.”
In addition to increasing exports, he stated that Export Barbados (BIDC) has been seeking to attract businesses in the pharmaceutical, science, research, and biotechnology spaces to operate in Barbados. The minister said the agency is aware that these industries are booming, and Barbados cannot pass up the opportunity to tap into that multibillion-dollar potential.