Export Barbados recently continued discussions on creating a Gold Exchange in this country, with representatives of Gold Jewelers and Raw Gold Dealers in Guyana, hearing first-hand, plans for the Gold Exchange and a gold jewelry center in Bridgetown.
On Saturday, April 30, 2022, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Export Barbados, Mark Hill, presented the plans to the delegation at Export Barbados’ headquarters. Also attending the meeting was Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jonathan Reid and Cordell McClure, Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce in Guyana, who led the delegation.
CEO Hill told them that Export Barbados is seeking to promote the Barbados Gold Exchange and gold brand as safe, savvy and sustainable. Hill indicated that Barbados' long term goal is to have one metric ton in gold reserve, with anything above that being traded.
He explained that with Barbadians having as much as $4 billion in personal savings in the commercial banks, they could invest in that gold, which would require just 5 percent of their savings. He further stated that any security concerns previously had by Barbadians about investing in gold, would be addressed through this new initiative under the St. Barnabas Accord, as the gold bullions will be stored at the Central Bank of Barbados.
He said the proposed Bridgetown Gold Exchange (BGX) would have global access to the gold market, and people can invest in traditional gold bars, bullions, 99.9 percent coins and gold-backed exchange-traded funds. Hill stated that they are also looking to flip gold as a digital coin on a blockchain and a tokenized platform.
“So that we’re being savvy. We’re not trading just at the basic level, but also trading and incorporating digitization into the Gold Exchange,” CEO Hill stated.
The seven principles of the BGX are as follows:
- Fairness and Integrity
- Protection of Clients’ Assets
- Responsible Gold Sourcing
- Regulatory Compliance
- Commercial Prudence
- Operational Professionalism
The CEO’s presentation also touched on the proposed gold jewelry center, which should be available by year-end. Hill revealed that there will be 30 shops available in the old Beckwith Mall, and systems will be put in place to provide maximum security there. He added the mall will be powered by renewable energy, making it a sustainable facility.
“Retail gold is global. Private investors have about 45,000 tons of retail gold in bars and coins and that accounts for about 22 percent of the gold mined throughout history. Barbados is just trying to get a small, small percentage of that retail gold business brought into our national portfolio. The demand for bars and coins is increasing by 25 percent per annum, so there's a massive demand in the market for this, which represents a thousand tons of retail gold each year,” the Export Barbados CEO stated.
The Gold Jewelers and Raw Gold Dealers were taken on a tour following the presentation. They visited the location of the future GO-Invest Barbados Office at Pelican Village, Beckwith Mall, jewelry stores in Bridgetown and the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. The previous day, the group had discussions with Octavia Gibson, Director of the Central Bank of Barbados' Currency and Payments Oversight Department.