Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Senior Minister responsible for the Productive Sectors, Kerrie Symmonds, says efforts to build a new life sciences industry for Barbados are continuing apace.
Symmonds was addressing the 2022 Scottish/United Kingdom Trade Mission delegates to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean at the Hilton Hotel on Monday, November 21. He indicated that a joint declaration at the recent COP 27, among the European Union, Rwanda, Guyana, and Barbados, concerning pharmaceutical production, is the latest effort on the life sciences front.
“But we go further than [the joint declaration],” Symmonds stated. “We are very interested in the decentralization and the end-to-end delivery and manufacture of targeted therapies in our effort to fight cancer and to be able to bring entities into the Barbadian space that assist us now with that vital step of doing risk analysis with respect to molecular diagnostics and tools for prediction and assessment of chronic diseases.”
Symmonds went on to talk about the country’s renewable energy efforts, stating that the ambitious goal to be entirely fossil fuel free by 2030 is within reach. He noted that Barbados has done well with solar photovoltaic technology and believes there is scope to work with Scotland, a wind energy leader, to develop onshore and offshore wind technologies. Doing so would allow the island to capitalize on its ocean space, which is 16 times its land space.
“I think it is easy for us to forge the alliance because we have the obvious need, and you folks have the obvious capacity, experience, and expertise” Symmonds stated.
The life sciences and renewable energy thrusts are at the heart of the work of Export Barbados (BIDC), which drives three pillars—Ocean Economy, Design Economy, and Bio-economy.
Export Barbados (BIDC)’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Andrea Burgess, noted that Barbados’ exclusive economic zone at 430 square kilometres, is a space in which the country should capitalize, and Export Barbados is doing its part to make that possible. She also spoke of Export Barbados’ efforts to develop the life sciences economic zone and its work on renewable energy projects, including wave energy, solar, hydrogen, and biogas.
Burgess told the UK business representatives that Export Barbados is willing and ready to work with them if they want to set up operations in Barbados.