Barbados has been named as the new global hub for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

At the UNCTAD Global Supply Chain Conference underway at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Gerd Muller, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, signed an agreement, the week before the 4th International UN SIDS Conference will convene in Antigua.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley emphasized that this signing marks a significant milestone for the country, highlighting the crucial role of economic diversification. She mentioned that the partnership would facilitate the development of new domestic industries and collaboration with external investors to benefit the entire Latin American and Caribbean region.

UNIDO has appointed Stein Hansen to head the office in Barbados; Hansen had previously served in the country as the second-in-command at the United Nations Development Programme, some 20 years ago.

Director General Muller noted that the agreement covers critical sectors, benefiting not just Barbados but all SIDS.

Prime Minister Mottley said:

We know that the ability to diversify our economy is absolutely critical. The establishment of this UNIDO Global SIDS Hub in Barbados will greatly assist in this regard, allowing us to have access to the technology and knowledge that are necessary for us to build out new industries and also assisting us in building partnerships across SIDS and international partners. I sincerely thank UNIDO DG Müller and his team, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and all who made this landmark signing and establishment possible. It is truly a major moment for all SIDS.

Watch the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation's video below, with remarks from UNIDO's Director General, Gerd Muller, and Prime Minister Mia Mottley: