Bridgetown, Barbados, 14th February 2023 – The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and The Commonwealth Secretariat are jointly hosting a three-day workshop on Effective Legal Frameworks for Building the Digital Economy, which is being held in Barbados from 13th to 15th February 2023.
The event welcomed 40 in-person and 100 online participants from 24 countries from the Caribbean and around the world, including Hon. Grenville Williams, Attorney General of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Hon. Davidson Ishmael, Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, Barbados.
The opening address was delivered by the Hon. Dale Marshall, Attorney General of Barbados, who emphasised the importance of legislation in driving digital economies, such as Data Protection, Cybersecurity, Intellectual Property, Fintech and other areas.
He stated, “This workshop has a timely focus on digital economies and the critical legislation that must of necessity, underpin our efforts to nurture and support national and regional digital transformation strategies.” The AG also took the opportunity to announce that a cybercrime statute to replace the 2005 Computer Misuse Act is expected to go to Parliament in Barbados within the next two months.
Attorney General Marshall further gave his country’s commitment to supporting the regulatory environment to develop the financial services section.
He added, “Barbados will ensure that there is the requisite regulatory environment through its institutions such as the Financial Services Commission, the Central Bank and the Fair Trading Commission, in particular, to nurture this fast-growing financial services area.”
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Paolo Katouke, Senior Director, Trade Oceans and Natural Resources Directorate, The Commonwealth, highlighted that trade facilitation across borders could redound to the benefit of The Commonwealth. “Digitalisation of trade could increase access to finance, reduce risk of fraud and corruption, and also create global standards for interoperability and technical standards.” He added, “In order to unleash a multiplicity of benefits of paperless trade, it is absolutely essential to engage in appropriate legal reform.”
Mr. Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General of the CTU welcomed participants and expressed his gratitude for their attendance. Remarking on the changing landscape of today’s technological environment, he said, “In order to move forward in today’s new, technologically driven environment, it is important to set the legal frameworks to drive, promote and encourage digital transformation across all sectors as there are so many technologies that are impacting us today.”
The workshop aims to provide participants with insights into policy recommendations that can be implemented nationally to support digital trade within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. The event serves as a platform for stakeholders from across the Caribbean to share their experiences and best practices in building a thriving digital economy.
Some of the key outcomes from the workshop include the identification of critical success factors for the development of digital economies and the sharing of practical strategies for the implementation of national policies and frameworks.
Organisations sponsoring the workshop are the Caribbean Development Bank, the Financial Services Commission of Barbados, Zeemoney and the Central Bank of Barbados.
The CTU and the Commonwealth Secretariat would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all participants for their contribution to the success of the workshop. Both organisations look forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders in building a strong and inclusive digital economy in the Caribbean region.
The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to supporting the development of the Caribbean information and communications technologies (ICT) sector. The CTU also promotes coordination of ICT at the regional level, identifies and removes roadblocks to ICT development, keeps track of industry progress and responds to the needs of the ICT sector, all with the aim of creating a cohesive regional approach to an ICT agenda which embraces the needs of all stakeholders. The CTU is committed to ICT development that reaches the citizens of the region, creating affordable access to ICT and helping citizens to use ICT effectively to transform their lives.
For further information, please contact:
Caribbean Telecommunications Union
Tel: 1 (868) 628-0281, ext. 246
Cell: 1 (868) 759-4438
Fax: 1 (868) 622-6523