“Well diversified”, “well organised” and “refreshing”, were some of the positive words used by attendees to describe the recently concluded two-day International Business Week Conference, which was held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Needhams Point, Bridgetown, Barbados.
Organised by diamond sponsor Invest Barbados, as part of Barbados’ annual International Business Week of activities, the preeminent event attracted over 200 attendees including both locals and overseas members of the international business and financial services fraternity.
This year’s Conference theme, ‘The Changing Dynamics: Driving Innovation, Prosperity and Health’, brought a fresh focus to the Conference. According to Conference Chair Jannette Babb, the theme was designed to capture the mood of the global environment in which we operate and “points to our national priorities.”
Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Freundel Stuart, Q.C., delivered the feature address and took the opportunity to salute the Barbados International Business Association, Invest Barbados and other strategic partners for their continuous efforts at building awareness of the importance of the sector, “which continues to contribute significantly to both the generation of foreign exchange earnings and the growth of the Barbados economy.” He also congratulated the organisers for hosting the Conference.
Prime Minister Stuart noted “that international financial centres like Barbados are here to stay, because these centres play a key role in facilitating and improving the efficiency of international trade and commerce, as those who choose Barbados to do business can testify.”
In light of the theme, the Prime Minister touched on each element of innovation, prosperity and health. He also encouraged participants “to keep striving for excellence” in all of their pursuits. “We all need to be more innovative as we seek to enhance our own prosperity, and our nation’s wealth. The opportunity to maximise rewards of any kind can hardly be exploited without good health.”
The topic of health generated keen interest and was well received by Conference attendees who thoroughly enjoyed presentations from Dr. T. Alafia Samuels, Deputy Dean – Graduate Studies and Research, Senior Lecturer – Epidemiology and Public Health, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, who spoke on the topic, Global Population Growth – Key to Understanding the Future; Dr. Juliet Daniel, Professor, McMaster University, Canada, who presented on The Brave New World of Bio-technology and Julia Abrey, Attorney-at-Law, Withers LLP, UK, who addressed the topic, Health Care Funding and Opportunities.
Among the other esteemed speakers, who presented on a range of international business related topics, were Senator The Hon. Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister; Sir Trevor Carmichael, Chairman Chancery Chambers; Peter Boos, Founder and Chairman, Aspire Foundation (Barbados) Inc; Guillermo Palomino, President, Access Capital Group, Peru; Mauricio Cano del Valle, Founding Partner, Brook and Cano, Mexico, Harry Joffe, Attorney-at-Law, Discovery Life, South Africa and Professor Avinash Persaud, Chairman, Intelligence Capital Ltd.