She made this observation last Tuesday during a courtesy call with Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert Ramdin, at the Ministry on Culloden Road, St. Michael.
Senator McClean pointed out that the island was highly dependent on services and, therefore, the development of a new entrepreneurial class was vital.
“We need to encourage our university graduates and the younger people to see entrepreneurship and business ownership as an obvious avenue,” she emphasised.
Senator McClean also mentioned the work done by the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI) by encouraging service providers to seek out opportunities outside of CARICOM. In this regard, she also advised the OAS to establish links with the organisation.
“As we encourage the traditional business sector to break into markets, I know Sir Charles [Williams] for example, has been doing business in Argentina and Sir Kyffin Simpson has been doing business around the hemisphere. But …if we are to broaden that entrepreneurial base, we have to look at how we can impact on that formation of an indigenous entrepreneurial group,” she underlined.
The Foreign Minister acknowledged the high level of unemployment across the region and cautioned that it was a critical issue that needed to be addressed in the short and medium term, nationally, at the CARICOM level, and within the OAS umbrella.
In turn, Ambassador Ramdin said the OAS intended to assist the region to increase its capacity and to explore how the existing trading arrangements could be more beneficial to countries.