The Head Table
Mr. Henderson Holmes – Executive Director, BIBA
The Hon, George Hutson – Minister of International Business and International Transport
Mr. Mohammed Patel – President, BIBA
Ms. Melanie Jones – IB week 2010 Steering Committee Chair
A little more than week ago, I was invited to attend the press launch for International Business Barbados Week 2010. I was not 100 % sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Now, before I get into the meat of the matter, I want to share my key take aways from the event with you. I know kind of backward but know you are busy and I want to make sure you get some real substance as you attempt to speed read this post!
My 2 important take aways from the event were : –
Bajans can work In Barbados
The International Business sector in Barbados makes it possible for highly skilled Bajans to remain in Barbados and earn a living and have a meaningful career in their chosen discipline. As technology gets better and better its becoming easier and easier for companies to set up offices here in Barbados to manage their operations elsewhere on the planet. Its the best of both worlds. 4000 persons are employed by the sector directly
Another Positive Alternative to Tourism
Secondly I learnt that this sector is generates quite a bit of foreign exchange and as it grows can help our reliance on sun, sea and sand.
With that being said here is
The Background on International Business Barbados Week
Previously referred to as the "offshore sector", the International Business sector of Barbados contributes a quarter of a billion dollars to the Barbados economy and is the largest contributor of corporate tax in Barbados. It is being considered the second largest source of foreign exchange for the island and the sector directly employs 4000 persons. Yeah, those are some pretty good stats.
Without a doubt, this sector is very valuable to Barbados, however because of restrictions on individual companies transacting business with Bajans, this sector not the very well known to the Bajan public.
Barbados International Business Association (BIBA)( facebook page), which provides an industry voice and operates as a focal point for the international business community in Barbados, noticed that there was a need for the Bajan public to grow an appreciation for this sector and its contribution to the economy. As a result, they created the International Business Barbados Week of Activities, with the objective to educate and inform the Bajan public of the role this sector plays in the grand scheme of things.
Last year the week ran from Oct 4 – 10, 2009 with the help of strategic partners including Ministries of Education, Tourism and International Business, Central Bank of Barbados and the University Of the West Indies all of whom are supporting the week again this year.
This year's week will keep the same slogan as last year's – "International Business Barbados … Embrace the Opportunities" but it will carry the theme "From Crisis to Opportunity … Unique Strategies Competitive Edge".
The Target Audience for the Week is listed as follows –
- The General Public
- The Barbados-based International Business Community (BIBA and non-BIBA members)
- Potential Investors and/or international business entities
- Regulators inside and outside of the jurisdiction of Barbados
- Government Support Agencies (particularly within the Ministries Of Labour, Customs and Immigration)
Sunday, October 24
9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Morning Service, St. James Parish Church
The week of activities commences with a church service during which time the member of the BIBA and its strategic partners will join the St. James Parish congregation in celebrating the start of the week's activities.
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
BIBA Charity Fun Walk
A brisk 4 km fun walk for all ages from Belleville to the Boatyard via the Garrison. Prizes given will include awards for the first corporate group to cross the finish line. Start Training!
Monday, October 25
9:30 am –
Secondary School' Symposium
Forum for business student and other interested students to learn more about the sector.
Tuesday, October 26
2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Careers Showcase, UWI Cave Hill
Graduates eyeing a career in the international business sector will receive expert guidance from reprensentatives across the sector at this event.
Wednesday, October 27
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Discussion Forum, Walcott Warner Theater, UWI Cave Hill
The true measure of the economic impact of the international business sector and its effect on the lives of people across Barbados will be the topic up for discussion. Tackling this topic will be panelists : Dr. Keith Nurse of UWI, BIBA Past President Tom Sears and Stephen Greaves of Platinum Offshore Management Services.
Thursday, October 28
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
International Business Week Conference, Hilton Barbados (Day 1)
Professor Avinash Persaud returns along with a range of North American. Latin American and Caribbean speakers to address this year's conference theme: Surviving to Thriving : Strategies for Global Expansion in Turbulent Times.
Friday, October 29
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
International Business Week Conference (Day 2)
The Conference continues
Saturday, October 30
In keeping with the trend set last year of providing an avenue for members in the sector to become personally involved in a worthy cause, the BIBA Charity Trustees are planning an equally worthy wind-down event this year.