Barbados’ quest to keep its import bill in check will apparently be tested by one of Asia’s largest economies.
Malaysian national news agency Bernama reported today that the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation is pushing exporters from that country to “tap Barbados’ growing market”.
Miami-based Matrade Trade Commissioner, Jonathan Rao, was reported as saying Barbados should be targeted with household furniture, wood-based building materials and consumer electronics, singling these items out as those with “good export potential” for the island.
And the official is urging his country’s exporters to “tap into Barbados’ growing prominence as a gateway to the eastern Caribbean by using Miami or Panama as its regional port hub”.
Rao said with almost 500,000 tourist arrivals here annually, Barbados was “prioritising a high percentage of its gross domestic product on tourism” and that “construction of new hotels, housing complexes and tourist infrastructures are indications of its vibrant economy”.
He also noted that “local companies import more than 70 per cent of Barbados’ requirements either directly or through wholesalers”.
“Malaysian exporters should target these high-value regional wholesalers to introduce their range of products,” the official said.
The Malaysian official described Barbados as “a middle-income economy built on tourism and offshore sectors, has been rated as one of the prosperous Caribbean nations, with a high per capita income of US$13,453”. (SC)