Will 2023 see more development in blue economy?

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BRIDGETOWN, 2 January, 2023 — Nearly a year after the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) partnered with the World Bank to launch its “Unleashing the Blue Economy of the Caribbean” programme designed to bolster economic development of the blue economy in the region, little notable movement seems to have been made to date. However, Caribbean Employment Services CEO Joseph Boll expressed his hope that this year will bring more substantial development to this high-potential sector.

Caribbean Employment Services Inc. is a market-leading digital talent acquisition service that aims to connect the top talent from the Caribbean with hiring managers, HR professionals and decision-makers in companies both within the Caribbean as well as abroad. Further, it aims to provide the region’s jobseekers and those who are already employed with news and resources related to Caribbean labour.

“At a time when the world is moving towards sustainable economic development, the blue economy in many Caribbean nations remains one of those relatively untapped industries,” said Boll. “Although, historically, agriculture and fisheries and tourism have been the major sources of economic activity for many in the region, tourism’s output has far soared past fisheries.”

Regional leaders have called for more development and investment in the blue economy, especially over the past few years as the novel coronavirus pandemic ushered in a renewed focus on economic diversification and resilience, and less reliance on tourism as the chief breadwinner. But Boll questioned whether those utterances will remain lip service as opposed to an actual call to action with tangible results.

However, he did note that Barbados could make promising strides in this regard if its new Chief Fisheries Officer Dr. Shelly-Ann Cox follows through with her “five-pronged vision” for a revitalized industry.

Dr. Cox recently outlined her proposed approach to dramatically increase the GDP outputs of Barbados’ fisheries sector through increased modernization, technological advancements and more involvement of youth and women workers. Boll remarked that Barbados could prove to be a leader in this regard if the plan indeed successfully comes to fruition.

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