Capitalise on EPA urges Inniss
BARBADOS DOES NOT need another Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) study.
Industry Minister, Donville Inniss, expressed this view this morning while delivering opening remarks at the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team’s Official Workshop, at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.
“This EPA has been with us for many years. We have been provided technical and financial support from the European Union (EU) and others to ready ourselves; much expenditure has been incurred by Government to establish an EPA implementation unit, providing free advice and facilitation; we have had seminar after seminar, and yet my friends, we are still talking and not doing,” Minister Inniss said.
Lamenting that perhaps it was because of the ultra-conservative nature of Barbadians, the Minister pointed out that “we sit here and complain about much, and often times do too little ourselves” to pursue opportunities.
He said: “I am quite embarrassed when I see the little uptake that this island has in many international funding, technical support and market opportunities. I simply ask ‘Is it that we are afraid?’ ‘Are we lazy?’ Are we too comfortable?’ ‘Are we expecting Government to negotiate trade agreements and then run businesses too, or is it that these things are just too onerous to achieve?”
Inniss also pointed out that Barbadians needed to shake off their intellectual shackles, get out of their comfort zones and behave as though they want to become entrepreneurs who want to get into, and stay in the EU market.
“No one owes us a favour. The days of favours to small islands that are former colonies are near an end. Those who want to wait on reparations can do that. I suggest that meanwhile we get up and earn our way in life,” he remarked. (BGIS)