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Minister of International Business and Industry Ronald Toppin.

Embrace change

IF we fail to embrace change, we will miss many transformative opportunities and our nation will not realise growth.

This is the view of Minister of International Business and Industry Ronald Toppin, who was speaking at the official start of International Business Week during a service at the Covenant Life Teach Centre yesterday morning.

Acknowledging that challenging circumstances being faced in the sector are as a result of changing international regulatory standards, Minister Toppin stressed that opportunities must be seized in the International Business and Financial Services Sector to strengthen and increase the competitiveness of the island as a global hub for business.

“Expanding business overseas means reaching and attracting new clients or customers and potentially boosting profits from the growth of our economy. Given the dynamic global environment in which we operate, this will entail not only adhering to the highest international standards but also facilitating the ease of starting and doing business in Barbados inter alia providing a network that is buttressed by cutting edge IT systems.”

The Minister told the congregation that the country should not be daunted by the seemingly never-ending challenges and uncertainty that besets this sector. “We must continue to be optimistic and committed to understanding that the opportunities far outweigh the obstacles. In that way and only in that way will we maximise our potential.”

“... As we forge ahead to face the many positives than can and has arisen in the new global arena in which we now function. If our aim is to be global competitive. Then we must accept the challenge that change affords us.”

Minister Toppin assured that Barbados strives at all times to uphold international standards and regulations with the aim of never compromising the country’s identity as being a jurisdiction of repute.

The Minister applauded the team from the Barbados International Business Association for their role in creating a facilitating an environment where businesses can thrive and where international standards are upheld even in the face of the effects of globalisation, shifting demographics, increasing automation and large economies.

“In a time of growing economic inequality your organisation BIBA has to try to provide the right environment for attracting and retaining businesses. However although you are an organisaton that is proactive, you are not going to be able to anticipate some of the challenges, not all. You cannot be expected to. The challenge is for us government and BIBA to continue working together to design and implement systems and processes that both confront today's challenges and anticipate tomorrow's issues as well as far as possible,” he said. (JH)

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