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The BIDC, in its assessment of the economy of Barbados over the past 10 years, has identified the urgency for increased focus on new product development with a view to boosting economic activity, expanding the production base and creating greater capacity to earn and save foreign exchange. Product development in Barbados has been stagnant to slow for the better part of the last decade with a narrow export base representing a limited number of products. The export-import gap has been significant, with imports being on average seven times the value of domestic exports annually.

The recent global pandemic caused by the corona virus (COVID-19) further underscores the need for product diversification, especially for small open economies like Barbados. The crisis brought into stark view a number of critical priorities for countries, not the least of which is the need to ensure their own food security, to have a range of medical health and related products readily available and to have ICT solutions to facilitate a digital environment in which businesses can be competitive and thrive. COVID-19 has been a game-changer for the world! It has not merely been a human health issue, but has structurally disrupted whole societies both economically and socially, as the world experienced the effects of shut-down economies and derailed international supply chains.

The BIDC is therefore throwing the spotlight on product development through its Product Development Initiative that will seek to widen the base of local production. By identifying areas where there is the potential to save foreign exchange, the BIDC can assist companies who have the appropriate capacity to leverage these opportunities and not only save foreign exchange, but possibly earn foreign exchange through exports.

Submission of Interest

The BIDC is therefore seeking product development specialists who can work with interested businesses to bring new products or product extensions and modifications to market. For further information or to review the Terms of Reference for this Expression of Interest please contact Jalisa Holder at or Sharon Walton at