The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has released its Q3 2021 Caribbean Quarterly Bulletin focusing on the evolving economic and human consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak for countries in the Caribbean region.
For Barbados, the report outlines the following regarding Digital Infrastructure:
- Barbados requires an estimated investment of US$10.6 million to close the digital infrastructure gap
- The gap for mobile broadband amounts to US$10.3 million, while the gap for fixed broadband is less significant at US$286,163.
- Closing this gap is crucial to increase employment and contribute to sustainable economic growth. Barbados is making good progress in its digital transformation of public sector administration and in improving service quality.
- The IDB – supported project aims to achieve (1) greater use of digit al channels by individuals and companies to access public services; (2) greater efficiency in public sector administration; and (3) strengthened public sector skills to operate in a digital economy.
- Overall, 79.6 percent of the population uses the Internet, in line with the 83 percent OECD average and above the 60 percent Caribbean average.
- National Identification Card: By the end of 2022, a new digital identity system will facilitate the transfer of personal information and will include Internet banking, e-commerce, e-communications, and user authentication features.
- Greater use of financial technologies is crucial to bridging the digital gap.
- Firms and banks in Barbados report that strict know-your-client and regulatory burdens, including those related to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, hinder domestic financial transactions and credit provision.
View the full report: Caribbean Quarterly Economic Bulletin: Volume 10: Issue 3, January 2022