New Vision for the BIDC

Plans are underway to establish an Industrial Development Commission to remove the stumbling blocks that have been impeding the growth of the local industrial sector for decades.

Word of this has come from Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, who disclosed that the academic community and the private sector would also assume a major advisory role to help Government to develop a policy that would lead to new areas of innovation.  He was speaking recently during a press briefing and subsequent tour of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation’s (BIDC).

In explaining the rationale for such a Commission the Economic Affairs Minister said it would assist Government to effect legislative changes to boost the island’s export capabilities.

Emphasis was made on the importance of the academic, knowledge-based sector in upgrading the industrial sector. Dr. Estwick, highlighted the need to involve the academic community in the innovation process, said: "You cannot create innovation unless what you are producing is brought into the academic sector.  So, we need to utilize the brain power at the Barbados Community College and the UWI, so that we can move our productive sector forward".

In an attempt to deal with the challenges posed by the global economic crisis, the Minister also alluded to a re-branding of Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC) and stability for the micro business sector. It will change the face of manufacturing, industry and business development on the island as Government introduces the Industrial Development Commission, a new model for economic expansion.

Dr. Estwick told BIDC staff members that some changes are going to be necessary if the BIDC is to carry out its mandate within the context of a new CARICOM Single Market and Economy as well as within a new World Trade Organisation framework.

It is important that we keep the micro business sector in operation because it provided protection for those big businesses that performed poorly during a recession.

The Economic Affairs Minister also said that the BIDC’s industrial development models of the 60s and 70s were no longer relevant to Barbados’ future development.  He suggested that the emphasis must now focus on the development of an industrial businesses sector that was complemented by the importation of business opportunities to guide future growth in the sector.

Source: Barbados Advocate Business Monday 02/03/2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009