New money-maker

Barbados is on its way to earning $10 million in foreign exchange from a new sub-sector.

Minister of Industry Donville Inniss made the announcement tonight, while addressing the fourth anniversary cocktail event of Barbados TODAY on the roof deck of Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown, St James.

Inniss told the gathering, which included top business leaders, that the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation was aggressively pursuing business in the animation industry, which is part of the multibillion-dollar multimedia and entertainment sector.

“To date, 24 persons have been assisted with training in animation [3D] and discussions with overseas companies to have such done in Barbados, is at an advanced staged,” the minister added.

“Our goal,” he continued, “is to earn $10 million in foreign exchange from this sub-sector by year two,” he revealed.

Inniss also said the Government was committed to a rapid expansion of ICT based companies in Barbados.

“To my mind, it is a low-hanging fruit which we have talked too much about and not done enough for. I am afraid that this fruit will soon drop off the tree and be of no use to anyone here.

“The world would have passed us by,” he suggested.

The Minister of Small Business Development also announced that the Fair Trading Commission would shortly take over the regulation of all licensed telecommunications companies in Barbados.

“Regulating the telecoms sector is critical as we develop a more level playing field, hold service providers to account and address inter-relationship issues that affect pricing. To this end, work is on the way to have the Fair Trading Commission be responsible for regulating the services provided by all licensed telecommunications companies,” the Cabinet minister continued. Inniss also sought to make a case for his Government to do more advertising business with online media, such as Barbados TODAY.

“My final point in terms of action from the Government’s end is that in order for fairness and equity to prevail in our system, Government agencies and corporations must recognize that this island no longer had two daily newspapers and, hence, the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars spent each year in placing ads must be shared between all media, including the online newspapers,” Inniss advised.

He said, too, that the Government was committed to reducing the cost of bandwidth to businesses and households in Barbados. “Over the last week, I have met with the heads of two of our major telecommunications providers on matters related to faster speed, more reliable service and a wider range of services in the sector.

They will soon announce the details of their plans,” the minister stated.

Also addressing the gathering was Barbados TODAY’s chief executive officer and editor-in-chief Kaymar Jordan, who said the company’s vision, was to make the newspaper the best media house in Barbados, and gave attendees a glimpse of some future plans.

Jordan revealed that the company had entered into an advertising agreement through its parent company to advertise in the bus terminal with a view to exposing Barbados TODAY to over one million passengers a month. She said this project was to run initially for 12 months.

“We will also be rolling out more new and exciting programmes as we aim to develop a full virtual platform of news and information, 24/7,” the CEO pointed out. She said, too, that BT was putting together the final touches to
its ad campaign being developed in association with Virgo.

This, Jordan, explained, was aimed at keeping the products and services of the paper foremost in the minds of the public.

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