“Far greater efficiency can be ours. Let’s press ahead as we strive to make Barbados the hub of trade and logistics in the Caribbean region.” (A Branker, 2017)
Speaking at the official launch of the online system at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Chairman of BCCI’s Retail and Distribution Committee-Anthony Branker commended Mr. Bascombe and his team for their role in advancing the Competitiveness Programme over the years, more particularly in bringing the Electronic Single Window( ESW) initiative to a point where it has been officially launched.
The ESW was heralded as a major deliverable of the Barbados Competitiveness Program (BCP), with the objective of increasing Barbados’ efficiency by removing any obstacles to ensure the seamless movement of goods into Barbados.
Mr. Branker alluded to the fact that the success of this initiative would not have been possible unless there was a clear vision towards business facilitation and costs reduction. He reminded the BCP that as a champion for reduction in the costs of doing business and increase efficiencies in business processes, the BCCI looks forward to having necessary licences, permits and any other approvals done online from the comfort of their offices, thereby reducing the cost of back and forth trekking to various government offices.
Speaking on behalf of the business community, Mr Branker highlighted the areas of improvement which they expect to see:
- Faster clearance of goods, because of less time spent travelling from one regulatory agency to another;
- Reduced trade-related transaction costs, including demurrage charges as a result of delays;
- Improved transparency in the operations of regulatory agencies; or greater clarity;
- Clarity around classification of goods and satisfying regulatory filings;
- Improved flexibility to adjust regulatory filings as business needs can change from time to time;
- Predictability of the process and last but not at all least
- Less bureaucracy
In concluding, Mr. Branker advised that the sky is the limit and far greater efficiency can be ours. He said ‘Let’s press ahead as we strive to make Barbados the hub of trade and logistics in the Caribbean region. We at the Chamber believe that the most effective way to maintain and sustain the benefits of the ESW is for the collaboration between public and private sector to be maintained. By ensuring that both public and private sectors are working together on the expansion of this initiative, the chances of success are substantially increased. The public sector is best positioned to formulate the needs and drive the system design, whereas the private sector is equipped to garner support and enhance implementation.’
To this end, BCCI wants to express its appreciation to the Cabinet of Barbados for having the Chamber represented on the steering committee.
Congratulations from the BCCI to the entire Competitiveness Program Team in renewing Barbados’ hope of improved business facilitation. This project will clearly go a long way in helping to improve the country’s rating in ease of doing business, where we now rank 117th among 190 countries.