Barbados economy

Barbados must focus on economic sustainability

It is against this backdrop that the Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, The Barbados Private Sector Trade Team (BPSTT) and The Barbados Coalition of Services Industries Inc. will host a forum next month dubbed “A Practical Approach to Economic Sustainability.”

The forum, which will focus on the European Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Brexit, was launched on Thursday evening at Radisson Aquatica Resort.

Sinckler: Foreign investors still interested in Barbados

Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, made this disclosure recently when Distinguished Visiting Fellow and former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Dr. Patrick Honohan, paid him a courtesy call at Government Headquarters.

Those present included acting Director of Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Louis Woodroffe; and Director of the Research and Economic Analysis Department at the Central Bank of Barbados, Michelle Doyle-Lowe.

IMF should not be feared, says PM Stuart

While he said that the government does not have immediate plans to approach the IMF for assistance, Stuart said people need to stop seeing the financial institution as menacing.  

Speaking during debate on the Appropriation Bill 2017 on Wednesday, PM Stuart conceded that both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party were guilty of portraying dealings with that financial institution in a way that has left Barbadians "scared". He suggested that the IMF should be seen in a more favourable light as a resource to help the country.

PM Stuart: I’m ready to talk

Speaking during the Appropriation Bill 2017 on Wednesday, PM Stuart said that it’s the “first time in his lifetime” that the country seems ready for a “serious discussion” on the way forward for Barbados.

He said Barbadians now seem ready to “hear more, learn more, understand what the facts are, understand where we are now, how we got here, how do we get away from here and where do we go.”

“I think we have to have that debate and I am ready for it,” he said.

Marshall: Downgrades affect more than future borrowing

The Prime Minister made the remarks at a Democratic Labour Party conference one day after Barbados’ credit rating was lowered to CCC+ by Standard & Poor’s.

Commenting on the impact of the downgrade, Stuart reportedly said, “The most they can do is to say to us that if you want to go and borrow because we’ve downgraded you, persons who might be inclined to lend you will make the money they want to lend you more expensive."

“We are not looking to borrow; we’re looking to earn foreign exchange, not to borrow,” he added.

Mottley: Let’s hear what Arthur has to say

As her former Prime Minister and party leader, Owen Arthur, was instructed by the Speaker of the House to wind up his contribution to the debate, Mottley interjected to make an unusual request:

“I’d like to move a motion that the Right Honourable Member, given that this may well be his last Estimates speech and given the subject matter which he is addressing which is of utmost importance to the country, that the Right Honourable Member be given an additional 30 minutes or however long he wants within that time.”

Sinckler: Printing money not good for economy

“It is, in fact, something that needs to be brought to a halt as soon as is practicable in the circumstances," he said. 

"It is not a sustainable policy; it doesn’t work well, it doesn’t look good, it doesn’t smell good – it is not good.”

His comments came during his presentation of the Appropriations Bill 2017 in the House of Assembly on Monday afternoon.

Bring home the foreign exchange, private sector urged

Speaking before lunch on Monday as he led off debate on the Appropriation Bill 2017 in the House of Assembly, Sinckler sent out a call to the leadership of the Barbados Private Sector Association and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mottley: National debt poses greatest threat to Barbados

Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley led off the response to the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure debate during the evening session where she noted the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) had in fact offered solutions on numerous occasions.

Mottley pointed to two documents, the 2012 and 2014 Budget Reply which she said outlined, in detail, measures for reducing fiscal deficit as well as ways to facilitate growth in the economy.  

Finance Minister laments inability to cut salaries

Resuming his presentation on the 2017 Appropriation Bill after lunch today, Sinckler said that cutting salaries would have provided substantial savings that could be used to reduce the fiscal deficit, which is projected to be 4.4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2017/18.