The Inter American Dvelopment Bank and the Caribbean Export Development Agency held a two day workshop on the topic of Innovation in the Service Sector in the Caribbean region.
The idea behind the workshop is to harness ideas that can help Caribbean nations grow this important sector which contributes immensely to GDP's throughout the region.
Organizers hoped to demonstrate how rejuvenation and product or service development - can spur meaningful economic gains.
More than 50 high-level participants form throughout the region participated and at the end Flora Montealegre Painter, Chief of the Science and Technology Division at the Inter-American Development Bank told us what it was about:..
Flora Montealegre Painter, IDB- Science /Technology Division Chief
"We are here at the end of a very productive policy dialogue on innovation in the services sector; we have had representative from all of the countries in the Caribbean; private sector, public sector as well as representatives of the academic sector."
"I think a couple of the things that came out very, very strongly are the issues of the human capital, I think it is very clear that the human resources is a critical component of any successful development strategy in the services sector and I think it's one of the areas where we hope to be able to continue to work with the countries of the Caribbean."
Mike Singh - Caribbean Export Development Agency
"If I can add to that as well, one of the big themes that came out today is the need for better and less expensive broadband services to act as a platform for delivery of internet base services to the rest of the world. The Caribbean including Belize has always been very strong in tourism and we spent a lot of time developing tourism system and growing our tourism market and that was done because the was a lot of work being done, building air ports building connections with airlines, cruise lines and we feel that and I think it was generally felt today that there needs to be a better relationship built with the technology providers so that the information super highway can be built so that we can also get some of those services to the rest of the world."
"If I may Mr. Singh that telecommunications of bandwidth expansions include the allowing VoIP?"
"Well Belize is fairly unique on that one front; the rest of the Caribbean VoIP is fairly open. I think it was very clear Telemedia participated today and I was made to understand that there has been a directive to not do any blockage of VoIP in Belize. Not to say that it's something that is being promoted, but from what I understand there is going to be a move towards liberalization."
"Is there any special assistance over any assistance program or any particular assistance program that will come out of this meeting for Belize, it's a sort of bottom line."
"Well, Jules these types of meeting really are networking meetings where you get the right people in the room at the right time."
The workshop ended today.