Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is urging aspiring entrepreneurs to use the opening of the Arnold Christie Complex as the inspiration to become more innovative in order to survive the worst economic downturn in a century.
He reiterated this call for businesses to become more competitive during the official launch of the Arnold Christie Complex at Lower Estate, St. Michael, last Saturday.
Stuart urged entrepreneurs not to be daunted by the challenges presented by the downturn but, to press on with the view to building a stronger and more competitive country.
“This beautiful building called the Arnold Christie Complex, is symbolic of the bigger, better, Barbados of which we have been dreaming and which we hope would emerge from the extra effort we must all make, to pull Barbados out of this prolonged downturn.
“As I have said before, this downturn must not be seen as a disaster but, as an opportunity to expand and motivate the business community to use the latest technology to produce goods and services more efficiently, to become more competitive and to help restructure the economy,” he underlined.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the need for educated Barbadians to complete the process of the “ever-widening emancipation that began so many years ago” within the context of the foundation laid by the island’s National Heroes.
“They, [National Heroes] and all who emulated [them], built a solid foundation based on the enjoyment of human rights that helped us to achieve the high standard of living and quality of life which we enjoy today”.
Stuart noted that it was no “mean feat” that Barbados — a small island with limited natural resources — was classified by the United Nations in 2011 as a developed country with a very high human development index.
Despite this classification and efforts by government to strengthen the agencies that provided assistance to entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister lamented that some were still reluctant to answer the call.
In light of this, Stuart suggested greater promotion of successful businessmen as the impetus to spur on others to succeed.
“The question [which] would have been repeatedly asked and debated in both the public and private [sectors] is why have sufficient numbers of entrepreneurs not emerged in Barbados in light of the overwhelming need to restructure and grow the economy?