The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has been working on creating a ‘diasporic economy’, since 2019.
Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands, disclosed this plan during the presentation of electronic devices from Barbadians working at United Nations (BajUNs) in New York to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training on 24 June 2020.
The Minister noted that to build a ‘diasporic economy’, this meant mobilising the diaspora, developing a database of their skills, their resources and the opportunities, which they present. She stated that the information would provide an indication of the potential areas that Barbados could develop new economic activities.
While noting that the ‘diasporic economy’ was derived as part of the We Gatherin’ initiative, but came to a halt with the advent of COVID-19, the Minister explained that to restart the programme, the ministry would be seeking to enable the help of the local population, and with the permission of their relatives living overseas, submit their names and contact number.
“We recognise the absolute importance for Barbados to engage differently on the international and global stage, and we have recognized how important it is that we broaden our network of friends, that we broaden our network of partners, [so] that we could work together to be able to gain the assistance that we need to represent our interest at the international level.”
Minister Husbands also revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade would be introducing commercial diplomacy training for all staff who work at missions and consulates, and Barbadians in the diaspora.
She explained that the objective of this training would be “to have as many eyes and ears on the ground as we can to advance our trade interest to discover opportunities for our products, and to make a way for enterprises to be able to engage the global economy. “This is going to be very important if we’re going to continue to generate prosperity for Barbados,” Minister Husbands said.