Barbados Highlights Trade Barriers Faced by Small Island Developing States

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Barbados Highlights Trade Barriers Faced by Small Island Developing States 2

During the opening of Wharton University of Pennsylvania’s 2024 Barbados Global Immersion Program, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Sandra Husbands, highlighted the significant challenges Barbados and other small island developing states encounter due to trade barriers. These barriers, often imposed by larger countries, hinder timely exports and utilize sanitary and phytosanitary measures as trade barriers under the guise of disease prevention. Husbands emphasized that while preventing disease spread is justified, using these measures as trade barriers cannot be condoned.

Husbands shared instances where Barbadian exporters faced undue hurdles, such as products being rejected at borders for minor issues like font size on labels, significantly delaying market entry and imposing financial burdens on small businesses. These barriers not only affect trade but also impact the islands’ foreign exchange dependency, crucial for importing necessary goods and services.

Furthermore, Husbands pointed out the additional threat of climate change, particularly the impact of extreme weather events on agriculture, threatening food security and export revenues. These combined challenges underscore the need for fair trade practices and the importance of addressing climate change to ensure the sustainability and economic resilience of small island developing states.

Her remarks shed light on the multifaceted challenges faced by these nations in the global trade arena, calling for fairer treatment and understanding of their unique vulnerabilities.

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