Minister of Industry and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss is depending on the private sector to lift Barbados out of the financial slump and create growth in the economy.
He threw out the challenge as he delivered the feature address at Courtesy Garage Limited’s annual award ceremony at Harrison’s Cave yesterday.
Inniss reasoned that by placing greater importance on customer service and training of staff the private sector should be in a better position to bring about the required change, making the companies and the country more competitive.
“There are those of course who wish to spend time reflecting on the negativity and the challenges. I think we have to spend more time learning from the experiences of the past and seriously plan for the future. So while it has been challenging I am sure you recognize it was a year filled with opportunities,” he said.
“I firmly believe the private sector can play an integral role in the creation of sustainable economic growth in this society. In that regard I wish to encourage all of you . . . to recognize that you have to take necessary action in order to weather these challenging times,” said Inniss.
He said: “I urge you to be innovative and to be at the cutting edge of technology. To be determined to succeed regardless of the kinds of environment we face, and to diversify your customer base, and continue to provide a high quality of service to customers”.
Saying that approximately 80 per cent of the island’s GDP came from service industries, Inniss, who is also the Minister of International business and Commerce, said “too often” companies treated customers good in order to get a sale but gave poor service afterwards.
“So ladies and gentlemen we have a lot of work to do in this country,” he said.
“In this globally competitive environment service excellence allow businesses to thrive and to differentiate themselves,” he added, lauding Courtesy garage for the attention it placed on customer service.
Inniss said he was “deeply satisfied” that the Barbados economy would improve by next year this time.
“All we need is for each one of us to do our part to make it happen. It is not about us politicians. It is about this society. Therefore I expect all of us, come this time next year, to truly be saying Barbados is once again a very prosperous society,” said Inniss.