Commerce Minister Says Barbados’ Economic Model Outdated

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday November 9, 2017 – Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, believes that although Barbados’ economic model has served the country well, it is now outdated.

He said that over the past 50 years, the island’s growth and development have been based on an economic model which placed much emphasis on preferential access to markets of its principal trading partners, incentivized tax regimes for the foreign investor designed to inject foreign exchange earnings into the economy and high protectionist barriers, implemented to give fledgling local enterprise the necessary space to become sustainable.

“This model is becoming obsolete as evidenced by demands by international standard setting agencies to dismantle these systems which have, up to a certain point, served our economy well,” he said as he addressed an Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados’ (ICAB) Student Conference this week.

Participants heard that the rapidity of change within the technological revolution had also impacted on the global economy, particularly the financial system.

Inniss added that this revolution had been able to impact positively the high cost, security and reliability of financial services which has in turn resulted in the growth of business and prosperity.

“Conversely, the relative ease and speed with which financial transactions can now take place have resulted in phenomenal increases in cases of financial crime. It is this ease in the geographical mobility of finances which contributes to the increased complexity of the regulation of financial services. We as regulators and policymakers are, therefore, forced to keep pace with technology to secure our jurisdiction, as well as to improve the services we offer to investors,” the minister said.

Click here to receive news via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)