Barbados hosts ICT road showCommerce and Trade Minister Haynesley Benn.
Tue, September 11, 2012 - 1:23 PM
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 10, CMC – The Caribbean information communication and technology (ICT) road show opened here on Monday with regional countries being called upon to develop their own blueprint for development utilising new information technologies (IT).
Commerce and Trade Minister Haynesley Benn told the ceremony that in the evolving digital economy “the creation of wealth is based on knowledge generation and the application of technology to everything we produce; how it is produced and how it is delivered”,
He said countries worldwide had adopted new strategies to meet their future socio-economic needs and it was important that the Caribbean follow the trend.
“Information and communications technologies have become essential tools for national development. The recent economic achievements of many countries have not sprung from their natural resources. Prosperity is no longer based on tin, rubber or timber.
“Countries rich in natural resources, for example, the oil producing countries, are not necessarily the great economic powers,” Benn said, adding that mega companies like the large oil corporations now operate in the shadows of highly successful information technology companies.
“It is our duty in the region to design our own blue print for development, having regard to our culture and our resource endowment. ICTs are general purpose technologies which can have an impact on all sectors of the economy. They are powerful enablers of development goals,” he said.
Benn said that Barbados government has continued with the efforts to strengthen ICT development making reference to the adoption of a three-dimensional approach for the formulation and intervention in policy frameworks.
He said the first level “requires that we pay careful attention to the regulation of standards, services and trade, and investment that optimizes the relationship of ICT for development,” and that “this national strategy should include...policies that discourage the abuse of dominance in the market and [provide] new investors with short term privileges in order to accelerate ongoing investment programmes.
Benn said that the second level called for the adoption, modification and sustainability of learning systems that reinforce technical and social capabilities, while the third dimension addresses resource-mobilisation policies while promoting the new partnerships among key stakeholders.
The Caribbean ICT road show is being hosted by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
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