PM: Seize economic opportunities from major events

Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

The Prime Minister has urged businesses and citizens to capitalise on the economic prospects offered by several large-scale events scheduled to take place here over the next 18 months, beginning with the T20 Cricket World Cup next month.

Speaking to reporters at Ilaro Court, Mottley emphasised Barbadians’ pride in hosting the World Cup, having already staged three other world cricket tournaments. She said the economic openings for large and small enterprises alike should not be underestimated.

“There is no small state that will now be hosting three global events; while that sounds good for the records, what it really is about is creating opportunities for Bajans to show the best of what we are and sell goods and services – be it through our tourism product or other offerings that allow visitors to spend more money here before departing,” she said.

“These are the opportunities created when we host events like this. Even though perhaps not enough of the private sector has exploited this yet, the truth is that this is only the first event.”

With Crop Over celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, CARIFESTA approaching, and the revamped We Gatherin’ celebrations scheduled for 2025, Mottley said businesses have a “priceless opportunity” from increased visitor numbers.

“Whether it’s a T-shirt saying you were here, a cup, cap or memorabilia – these things are important for any major event,” she said. “If businesses don’t have merchandise ready for the Cricket World Cup, they should prepare some for the Crop Over anniversary or We Gatherin’ next year. These are the opportunities the government creates to spur economic activity.”

The Prime Minister urged Barbadians “not to see these things as isolated events”. We Gatherin’ 2025 will encourage the Barbadian diaspora to return for celebrations highlighting each parish. “I want to see the St Lucy people in January …St Peter in February …then when it’s all done, everybody come back. All who did not come, come in December 2025. That is the spirit of what we want.”

The Prime Minister was speaking to journalists after Erdiston Teachers’ Training College signed a memorandum of understanding with Columbia University’s Edmund W. Gordon Institute for Advanced Study. (SB)

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