U.S. Department of Commerce Representatives Meet Barbadian Business Leaders to Launch a Business Ethics Training Program

Officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) met with business leaders in Barbados to discuss the business environment and investment climate ahead of launching a business ethics training program aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Five members of the Barbadian business community will have the opportunity to undergo further training in business ethics in Washington, D.C. in summer 2010 as explained below.

FILE PHOTO - Business leaders at a seminar

FILE PHOTO - Business leaders at a seminar

The International Trade Administration is collaborating with the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the private-sector wing of the Inter-American Development Bank, to design a two-part business ethics training program in Barbados. The first part will consist of a “train-the-trainer” program, to be held in Washington, DC in the summer of 2010, for fifteen individuals from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago (five from each country). Afterwards, the newly trained business ethics practitioners will return to their home countries and organize the second part of the program, workshops for SMEs that are interested in creating an ethics program for their business.

Many SME’s assume it is too costly or complex to develop a comprehensive ethics program. However, SME’s have much to gain by adhering to globally-recognized ethical and governance standards: larger firms often choose to do business with companies they can trust as reliable long-term partners; sound integrity policies and practices are key elements to qualify for long-term finance opportunities; clients who are conscientious of corporate social responsibility practices demand high standards; and adopting ethical business practices can improve employee morale and retention. In short, business ethics can be a competitive advantage for a SME.

Members of the Barbadian business community interested in applying to the training program in Washington, D.C. should contact Tricia Johnson or Mike Calvert for more information at tricia.johnson@trade.gov and mike.calvert@trade.gov For further information about this opportunity please contact the U.S. Embassy’s Political-Economic section at tel.: (246) 227-4271.

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