Barbados is an attractive jurisdiction of choice for investment in information and communication technology (ICT), an online forum was told on Tuesday.

ICT executives outlined a range of benefits to living and working in Barbados including strong collaboration between the private and public sector, a good education system and reliable ICT infrastructure.

They were speaking at an Invest Barbados online forum to explore investment opportunities within the ICT sector.

Philip Lewis, Managing Partner of Innovation and Transformation at management consulting and solutions firm LCI Consulting Inc., said there was no doubt Barbados was ideal for any type of operation that depended on ICT to service clients.

And the COVID-19 pandemic may have even propelled the island's prospects for ICT growth, he declared.

Lewis told the forum: "Barbados has a warm climate that is great for tourists, but it is also a warm climate for doing business in Barbados. We have a stable government, we have low taxes and it is a very safe country.

"For a while we have known that we have to diversify the economy away from just hospitality, and we have to look at other service sectors and industries, and what we have seen is that technology and ICT is a sweet spot for Barbados and certainly an area where we can provide growth and growth opportunities for businesses. The impact of COVID-19 is that it has accelerated all of those plans.

"So the private sector has had to put all their business online if it wasn't online before.

"We know we have remote working and we have to deal with the challenge of home-schooling. That certainly has made the ICT area in Barbados a greater priority than it has been before."

Pointing out that Government has been laying the foundation for the build out of the ICT sector over the past two years through various pieces of legislation, Lewis also pointed to progress in various government services now being available online.

In addition, he said the country had a superior network and technology infrastructure to support any business that required ICT to thrive, adding that there were a plethora of ICT support companies, technology skills and experts available on island.

"There is a lot of business support for ICT companies or any company setting up in Barbados with a dependency on technology," he said. "It is to say that Barbados is a very good local market for any ICT service as well as a market that is able to support your service across the Caribbean and internationally."

Chairman of Crucible Inc. Joel Alleyne said besides being Barbadian, he chose Barbados for his company to be headquartered because of several key factors.

"Of course, Barbados has a special affinity to me, but in terms of ease of access, language, time zone, political stability and legal framework, it makes for a phenomenally good working environment," said Alleyne, who said the island's ICT infrastructure was also a plus.

Crucible Inc. is involved in business process outsourcing, IT consulting and knowledge process outsourcing.

Sharing his experience during the Invest Barbados online forum, Alleyne said his over two-decades-old company has been having "great success with staff, team and the people we have in Barbados".

"Having said that, we pay particular attention to things like human resource management. We work with the local union, the Barbados Workers' Union, and there is an extremely solid labour seat in Barbados," said Alleyne, who has work experience in the UK, US and Canada.

"The labour and human capital that we have on the island meets or exceeds some of the other human resources and human capital that I have seen in other locations," he added.

During the forum, the ability of public and private learning institutions to quickly transition to online learning was also highlighted, as well as the implementation of various ICT programmes to the curricula in the primary, secondary and tertiary level.

Previously published 29 Jan, 2021.

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