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Invest Barbados contributed to the Island Innovation Forum 2021 this past week, and its CEO shared the innovative approach of Barbados to economic recovery and growth.

Kaye-Ann Brathwaite, CEO of Invest Barbados, in her remarks during the session, stated that there were many benefits for a tropical island like Barbados. Speaking on ‘Economic Recovery in a Post-Pandemic World: The Barbados Perspective’, she cited that the short-term aim was to reset, recover and rebuild.

The overall focus of the discussion was to understand how small island projects would continue to present opportunities for both business and consumers on the island. Also discussed were key issues and financial benefits relating to investment along with economic recovery of the island.

The CEO stated that the pandemic had caused unprecedented socio-economic disruption all over the world, especially in small island states like Barbados.

“Industries, especially tourism and hospitality, the lifeblood of small island states like Barbados, have been severely impacted, resulting in significant decline in business activity, high levels of unemployment and significant economic hardships,” she said.

“In the case of Barbados, by the end of 2020, there was a GDP contraction of 18%, primarily due to the 71% decline in long-stay arrivals for the year.”

Brathwaite highlighted that there was a spillover effect which affected wholesale and retail business service sectors including real estate, car rentals and the ancillary service sub-sectors.

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