Canada, a longstanding source of major investment for Barbados, is set to open up a whole new range of money-making opportunities for the island.
Speaking on the heels of a successful trade mission to Prince Edward Island and Halifax, an upbeat Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman told Barbados TODAY interest in what Barbados had to offer was high.
Kellman, who was the most senior Government official on the trip, which was the brainchild of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Canadians appeared keen on the island’s incentives for renewable energy investments.
It was also anticipated that there would be further discussions with representatives from Halifax and Prince Edward Island in November and February respectively.
Asked about specific deals that were struck and the opportunities for more airlift, the minister said:
“That will come at the de-briefing meeting when the different groups meet (but) interest in the renewable industry was strong.
“It has confirmed that we are on the right track as it relates to industry, agriculture, innovation, education, tourism and services. We have to educate people for work and the beneficiaries must share the costs with Government.
“Renewable energy is a must and it is not when, but how soon. The reason Canada is doing well is because unlike us they kept their productive industries and understood what created services by using their educational system and innovation,” he added.
The 10-member trade delegation, whose participants were scheduled to return home yesterday and today, also included Permanent Secretary Ruth Blackman, the Chamber’s Executive Director Lisa Gale and Barbados Investment and Development Corporation CEO Dr. Leroy McClean.
The joint public and private sector delegation also included representatives from four companies, namely Armstrong Agencies, Cave Shepherd & Company, RePower Barbados and Trinity Homes. The Barbados Tourism Authority was also represented.
Chamber President Lalu Vaswani had said the mission was a reciprocal one since a delegation from Prince Edward Island visited Barbados earlier this year.
The objective was to increase opportunities for locally produced goods, financial and architectural services.
Wind energy, green business, financial services, and food and beverage distribution were the specific focus of the trade mission primarily because they were the areas the local business sector “has demonstrated an interest in enhancing”. (SC)