Minister of International Business and Industry, Ronald Toppin (right) listens to Andrew Marshall of Meadows in the Sun as he talks about his wines, at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation’s Export Readiness Programme Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Bagnall Point Gallery.

Be export ready

In order to reduce Barbados’ huge $2.60 billion trade deficit, businesses are going to have to take advantage of trading on the global marketplace.

This is coming from the Minister of International Business and Industry, Ronald Toppin, who delivered the Opening Remarks at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation’s Export Readiness Programme Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Bagnall Point Gallery.

However, before they can do this, they must ensure that they are export ready and this would cover areas such as producing products and/or services that are of a high calibre and providing excellent customer service, among other things.

“The Barbados Statistical Department reports that from 2013 to 2017, average domestic exports stood at BDS$526 million while imports for the same period averaged $3.15 billion, indicative of a trade deficit of $2.60 billion. This is the benchmark against which the need to nurture and export culture, and to engage exporters to strive for excellence in quality, value and customer service, becomes the hallmark of a marketable export product or service. These are the attributes which the programme teaches and must be foremost in your ambition if sustainability is to be achieved.”

Toppin said that it would be up to the business owners to do this as governments generally do not embark on quests of developing new products or finding more effective ways of providing a service and then seeing how they can get these products and services into the market.
“So as you look to the future development of your businesses through export growth, let me state that governments generally do not break into new markets, invent new products or win export orders – businesses do. Hence, the need for a business-led development strategy, developed in collaboration with specialists from across the corporate landscape, to address the practical barriers which exporters encounter.”

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