Where to invest at issue
Barbados should look beyond investing in its traditional markets and look to those not often tapped, Barbados Chamber Of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) president Andy Armstrong has suggested.
“England is obviously one such area, [and] because we already get a lot of tourists from there, we already have a base of sorts for our goods and services.
“This, to me, is an opportunity that we most definitely need to be putting some investment in,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
His comments come on the heels of suggestions that Barbados was “missing the boat” despite undertaking a number of trade missions to various countries in South America and Europe in recent times.
In December last year, former Prime Minister and current Ambassador To China Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford called for a special focus on the markets of China and East Asia which, according to him, were the most promising and resilient in world trade.
He also said then that Barbados should continue to place importance on tourism, business, and the financial services sector, suggesting that the country invest more in its tourism plant, solar energy, water conservation and recycling activities.
Speaking last week, the former Prime Minister accused authorities of meandering and floundering, and urged them to make haste with plans to capitalize on the Chinese market.
“What is important is for us to build on our existing economic and trade relationships with the People’s Republic of China and make it even more meaningful for Barbadians and the people of China,” Sandiford said.
Although sharing similar views, Armstrong has suggested that this be further examined.
“Whether to invest in China or, say, even Brazil, which can be considered a lot closer to us, that is the question on which some discussion will be necessary.
“It is impossible for us to do everything. I mean, looking at it from the private sector end, to develop any market will take a fair amount of money and it is going to take a lot of time,” he said.
“What is critical, though, is that we be more focused, especially with the limited resources that we have.
“I mean, rather than trying to open, say, six different markets, focus on one or two and find out what energies and money is there and is needed – and from there, try to make a breakthrough,” Armstrong said.