Barbados’ Opposition Leader Invited to Address Chamber of Commerce – Wednesday 29th September 2010
Leader of the Opposition of Barbados – The Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P., has accepted an invitation from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to deliver the Feature Address at the Chamber’s Luncheon next Wednesday, September 29th 2010 at Hilton Barbados, Needham’s Point, St. Michael.
It is expected that Miss Mottley will speak on the topic: ‘Sustaining Enterprises in this Challenging Economic Environment’ and we have every confidence that having served as Minister of Economic Development, she is eminently prepared and qualified to speak with authority on this and any other topic.
As Barbados grapples with the effects of the global financial and economic challenges, it is known that many businesses are at their limit, with many said to be drawing on their reserves. The Private Sector must therefore be congratulated for doing all in its power to maintain jobs, especially in this manufactured environment in which they are now being forced to operate.
In the 2010 Estimates, Miss Mottley reminded the country that in 2007 when it looked as though the competitive benefits with China would go, as Minister of International Business – she went to China to discuss Barbados being given more time to allow for the repositioning of its marketing strategy with China as well as Barbados’ business model in the International Business Sector.
Those discussions were extremely successful and as a result, Barbados was able to gain an additional two-and-a-half years in respect of those amendments to the Barbados-China treaty. The intention was to use Barbados as an outward investment domicile for Chinese surplus capital into the rest of the world, in the same way that we had done with Canada.
When Miss Mottley was Minister of Economic Development, the Parliament of Barbados passed the International Arbitration Bill. That Bill was intended to position Barbados as a centre for international arbitration for the rest of the world. To Miss Mottley’s credit, the London Court of Arbitration, which had said “NO” to the Australians’ request to do similar – said “YES” to Barbados. However, because of the tardiness of the present DLP Government, Barbados lost that opportunity and India became the recipient of the Court.
In her 2010 Estimates presentation – Miss Mottley queried the status of the 495,000 pounds Euro grant from the European Union brokered during her tenure, which was intended to develop an educational institution at the University of the West Indies to prepare Barbadians to occupy better positions in the International Business Sector. There was also to be a partnership with the University of Toronto. Unfortunately, no further action has been taken on these matters.
Another area raised by Miss Mottley in the 2010 Estimates in March was: ‘The Special Technical Assistance Programme,’ which had helped up to 495 businesses up to the end of 2007 in the repositioning of their companies in order to meet the more liberalized environment. Miss Mottley expressed shock that the vote was cut from $6 million to $4 million by this government when they need it most.
It is therefore crystal clear that the very challenges with which local businesses are grappling – are those issues, which Miss Mottley did all in her power to protect them from and prepare them for – when she was Minister of Economic Development.