The Right Honourable Owen Seymour Arthur
The Rt. Hon. Owen Seymour Arthur, currently the Leader of the Opposition of the Barbados Government, will open the UCCI conference with his keynote address on the emerging place of the Caribbean in the global political and economic arenas.
Mr. Arthur assumed office as Barbados' fifth Prime Minister on September 7, 1994 and held that office until January 15, 2008.
He was born in Barbados on October 17, 1949, and was educated at All Saints Boys' School, the Coleridge and Parry School and Harrison College.
Mr. Arthur undertook Undergraduate and Post Graduate studies at the University of the West Indies and holds a Master of Science degree in Economics.
He has had a varied professional career. It began in Jamaica as a Research Assistant in the Department of Management, Mona, in 1973, included a five (5) year stint at the National Planning Agency of Jamaica, and as Director of Economics of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute between 1979 and 1981.
On his return to Barbados in 1981, he served as Chief Project Analyst in the Ministry of Finance and Planning before moving to the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University of the West Indies as a Research Fellow.
Mr. Arthur has also performed public service in the capacity of a member of the Boards of Directors of the Jamaica Scientific Research Council, and of the Barbados Industrial Development Corporation, and the Central Bank of Barbados. He served as chairman of the Barbados Agricultural Development Corporation between 1982 and 1984.
Mr. Arthur’s political career began when he was appointed to the Barbados Senate in 1983. He was elected to the House of Assembly in 1984, and served as Leader of the Opposition between 1993 and 1994.
He led the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to victory in the General Elections of 1994, 1999 and 2003. It is the first instance since Independence that a political party has been successful at the polls in three consecutive Elections.
During his tenure as Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr. Arthur assumed lead responsibility, within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
In addition to the above Mr. Arthur served as Chairman of the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Small States (CARICOM) and has published a number of papers on trade, integration and technology, balance of payments and economic adjustment issues.
Mr. Arthur is the holder of the Order of José Marti of Cuba.
His hobbies include gardening and cooking.
He is married to the former Julie Ann Price.