Prime Minister Mia Mottley today underscored the importance of trade to Barbados’ economic recovery and transformation, and the need for the island to re-emerge as a regional trade hub.
She made the brief comments today as she and her Cabinet, along with Ambassadors Dame Billie Miller and Clyde Mascoll, received a brief on trade-related matters during the weekly Cabinet meeting.
They were briefed by Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Arancha González; her Chef de Cabinet and Chief Advisor, Matthew Wilson, who is also a former Barbados Foreign Service Officer, and Director General in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Office of Trade Negotiations Ambassador Gail Mathurin.
González is a trained lawyer and is also an expert in international trade issues with 20 years of experience.
She also has extensive knowledge about international trade and economics and served as chief of staff to the World Trade Organization’s director-general, Pascal Lamy, from 2005 to 2013. She also played an active role in launching the Aid for Trade Initiative.
Mathurin represented the CARICOM Office in Trade Negotiations which is responsible for developing and maintaining a cohesive framework for coordinating and managing CARICOM’s external trade negotiations resources.
No indication was given of Barbados’ current trade statistics. However, between January and September 2015, Barbados exported approximately $259 million in goods to the region with Government indicating then on that trajectory, the figure for 2016 could reach $285 million.