The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) joins the nation in mourning the passing of former Prime Minister, Owen Seymour Arthur and in so doing, acknowledges his contribution to the development of Barbados and the region at large, especially as it relates to economic sustainability, development and growth.
It was Mr Arthur in his role as Opposition Leader who cited privatization, expansion and the creation of enterprises as measures to resuscitate the Barbados economy, specifically encouraging the business community to rise above a culture of enterprise which stymied competitiveness, efficiency and innovation.
He called for the re-think of the concept of privatization – encouraging our members to examine the benefits and not be blindsided with negative assumptions. The BCCI recalls his firm stance that “it is impossible to conceive of any strategy for the expansion of Barbados manufacturing, the growth of non-sugar agriculture, the expansion of micro and small business sectors, all of which are driven by domestic demand, in the absence of measures to stimulate domestic purchasing power.”
Throughout his various capacities, Mr Arthur remained a friend of the Chamber, always approachable, always willing to take to the platform, always eager to engage in discussions that served to propel us further – collectively and individually. As we look back on the many times that we were blessed by his thought-provoking contributions, we are also grateful for his signature humility and willingness to share knowledge, insights and ideas – to give us reality checks and to consistently challenge us to be better and to do more for the benefit of Barbados.
As we continuously work to provide our members with focused leadership and a strong voice to promote the interests of the business community, Mr Arthur’s own voice and strong statements will live on and be remembered.
The Barbados Chamber of Commerce extends deepest sympathy to Mr Arthur’s widow, Julie, his daughters Sabrina and Leah and his extended family, the people of Barbados.