Removing obstacles

Digicel manager Alex Tasker (standing left) shares a joke with Minister Donville Inniss and other officials at today’s ceremony.
Digicel manager Alex Tasker (standing left) shares a joke with Minister Donville Inniss and other officials at today’s ceremony.

The Government of Barbados has established a Trade Facilitation Task Force designed to encourage greater local and foreign investment.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss announced this morning that the task force was established in his ministry with a remit to reduce or curtail altogether, “those burdensome procedures and systems which are obstacles to productive business activities”.

Inniss told the opening of Digicel’s Business ICT Conference at Hilton Barbados Resort, that the move was in recognition of the principle that business facilitation lead to greater efficiency and profitability.

“This task force brings together persons from the public and private sectors to address the constraints of doing business and hopefully we can have a common approach going forward,” the minister asserted.

He said it was equally imperative that there be facilitation of new investment in new communication technologies to provide the most competitive communications system to support the local service economy.

“This would serve the basis for redefining our business landscape with communication services featuring prominently, which would be in harmony with the government’s policy of removing obstacles to the inputs to production and the creation of wealth,” she added.

The minister observed that the current recession had brought into sharp focus, the need for the private and public sectors to work together to come up with the appropriate approaches that would allow Barbados to overcome the myriad challenges that confront the society.

He also sought to address the critical issue of the high cost of living in Barbados.

“We are tackling issues of the clearance of cargo from the port inclusive of duties and related port handling charges, reduction in energy costs, reasonableness of mark-up systems employed by the business sector and the general facilitation of trade,” he announced.

“Central to all of this is the need for the consumer to be able to cope with the rising cost of living that has been in part, occasioned by external forces of the world economy.”

Minister Inniss said that in addition to this, government also had to ensure there was a measure of certainty and facilitation for new businesses to emerge and for existing ones to expand and thrive for the overall good of the country. (EJ)†

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