We in Potta

Our main problem is not finance, it is the availability of markets for what we produce. It is the closing of these markets that caused the decline in jobs,foreign exchange and income. Just in case we are losing focus. Is stimulus money a medium or long-term solution? It is a short term inadequate remedy. It buys time for the economic agents to regroup and re-calibrate – Vincent Carrington

This blogmaster was hopeful the COVID 19 global disease would have served as the great disrupter many of us have been waiting for.  That is, to force behavioural change necessary to efficiently manage our little economy to support a decent standard of living for our children and those to follow.

Last weekend Larry Summers a former US Treasury Secretary was asked to comment on COVID 19 impact on the economies of emerging and developing countries. He responded (in summary) that these countries will need significant financial assistance from international financial institutions. High debt burden carried by developing countries does not leave fiscal space to adequately finance policy development. He elaborated that emerging and developing countries will have to cooperate to create the perfect lobby in order to attract assistance. It brought to the blogmaster’s mind that some good may  come out of the investment by Prime Minister in raising the international profile of the country and region.

Countries have had to react quickly to a global economy forced to come to a screeching halt because of COVID 19. Finance ministers everywhere have had to reallocate scarce resources to fight the pandemic. What is scary for the developing world is that CHINA, USA and Europe responsible for fuelling the global economy have been significantly affected by the novel coronavirus. Unlike developing countries these three countries have access to financial resources to combat fallout from the pandemic.

The interdependent nature of the global economy – to Summer’s point – makes it a priority for the developed word to assist developing countries by suspending debt payments AND to consider debt forgiveness. The usual criteria of per capita income used by international agencies to ‘graduate’ needs to be jettisoned and replaced by more realistic economic performance indicators. How can a country like Barbados not qualify for significant debt forgiveness given the vulnerability of our small open economy? The global economy will not recover if markets in emerging and developing countries are left to flounder.

One does not have to be  a sage to know Barbadians will have to be sensitized by our leadership to the unprecedented challenges facing countries like Barbados because of the pandemic. The lack of financial intelligence and economic planning currently being demonstrated by local actors continues to be a big disappointment.   Almost every intervention and commentary seem to be crafted to be political or anchored in the same old same old rhetoric. Frankly it has been a struggle for this blogmaster of late to feel motivated to blog.

Does anyone besides a few – understand the implications of a country like Barbados already suffering from a decade of economic fatigue – the implication of depleting reserves or drawing down on hard to source lines of credit to fight COVID 19?

 

 

175 comments

  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 12, 2020 2:35 PM
    “And the Government’s steps to stimulate confidence in the economy is receiving from what I hear the correct noises from the private sector who are on board. It seems the whole country is except for BU.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Does that “private sector” include the ‘majority’ slice owned and controlled by foreign players especially those domiciled in T&T whose home drums of investment will certainly beat first?

    What you should be looking for as proof of this show of confidence is whether Sagicor has repatriated its registered office to the land of its birth.

    That would certainly demonstrate to the other players a clear level of confidence in the ability of the government to turn things around and show the EU that Bim is indeed a good and decent place to do international business.

    What you should also be recommending to your family of operators in the buy and sell business is the transfer of investment from the importation of used vehicles to that of the renewable energy sector and local agriculture guided by your soon-to-be announced policy on agricultural reform.
    ‘Action speaks louder than words!’

    “A promise is a cloud; fulfilment is rain.” And you can bet Barbados needs that rain (in all interpretations of word ‘rain’) more so now than ever in living memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Charles Skeete

    What about turning the Fairchild street bus terminus into a vendors market and the bus terminus relocated to the unsightly area of the old market now occupied by whosoever will may come.
    Included in the plans could be easy and comfortable sheltered access from the market to the bus terminus after shopping

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  • @ Miller

    Rather than focussing upon corporations domiciled elsewhere, how about Barbadian-owned enterprises take the lead as they will in this effort. One idea: the credit union movement with membership in excess of 200,000 could lead the way in capital works projects. The Barbados Co-op League as the umbrella organisation of credit unions could approach government and take a major stake in a massive project to rejuvenate Bridgetown for example. Barbadians can be encouraged to take out more of their savings from the foreign-domiciled banks with billions in excess liquidity and put them into the credit unions for this purpose. As I say with a membership of over 200,000 in a country of 285,000 that is quite nearly “all of us in this together”.

    The Bridgetown Rejuventation project is but one example. In my view, I would rather see them invest in the emergence of a cottage industry, whether that is something within the knowledge-based economy, renewables, or anything else.

    PS “my family of operators???”

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  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 12, 2020 4:56 PM

    There you go again, playing the game of intellectual hopscotch!

    Not a word of riposte about the repatriation of Sagicor registered offices now the administration of proper governance and friend of business is in place (again).

    If Bajans invest their savings in infrastructural projects (which has a great level of altruistic appeal) how would the used car importers make their ‘clean’ money?

    We are surprised you are not recommending the credit unions invest their members’ savings in the Hyatt IPO about to go on the market, “shortly”, to use a Sinckler patented catchphrase.

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  • @ Miller

    As you usual you refuse to engage with substantive matters, and instead bring up irrelevancies such as used car importers.

    Should the credit union movement invest in projects as I outlined or not? I figure however that you might go into anaphylactic shock if you ever actually answer a question, so for your own health you should probably continue to evade.

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  • @ PLT thanks.

    @Enuff
    Do you have anything to add? Or can you only opine on pseudo environmental impact assessments and hotel corridors?

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  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 12, 2020 5:44 PM

    When are you going to learn your lesson?
    Do you want the miller to send you to the Headmaster called Caswell Franklyn for a good old ‘caning’ or would that be considered child abuse?

    Is the issue of imported used cars in a post-Covid economic environment to close to your family business bone?

    How about investing in Hyatt? Or is that not available to ‘black’ credit union savings?

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  • @ Miller

    Besides your disgusting racialism, what is the relevance of the used car import business in relation to my comments that requires it to make an entry into a reply to my comments? What is the point being made?

    I don’t see why the credit union movement should be barred from investing in Hyatt Ziva. As far as I can tell and call me naive, money has no complexion. Ask the plethora of “old money” blacks in this country. On that point I’d take correction based on the fact that I’ve said i don’t know but that’s what I see. Anyone else can provide the insight on that point. But what they invest in is of little concern to me presently because there are a great deal of options. But in my view they could focus primarily on non-tourism endeavours.

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  • @Kahleel

    What is the source of funds the credit unions to invest as you suggested.

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  • @ K K:
    “Ask the plethora of “old money” blacks in this country.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Isn’t that “racialism” also?

    Who are these “old money blacks”? Mulatto Malmoney? Or those daubed with the old plantation tar brush now passing for white in Bim?

    Do blacks own and control the businesses in Bim in relation to their population size?

    The point being prosecuted here is that the credit union savings are largely used to buy consumer goods (including used cars imported mainly by businesses owned by the ‘brown’ ethnic community not of the Christian persuasion.

    That obvious waste of forex ought to stop and the money used to invest in areas which you yourself argued are beneficial for the economic survival of the country. i.e. tourism, renewable energy and agriculture the Cinderella of the Bajan economy.

    BTW, have you apologized to your Master Caswell, you naughty boy?

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  • I have to clarify what I said at 6.13 as it was misleading. Of course money has a complexion in terms of the fact that some groups exercise more economic power (and disproportionately so) than others. What I meant is that if you do acquire the financial wherewithal you ought to be allowed to partner with other racial groupings as evinced by the many partnerships between wealthy black and white capitalists here. It would be a little too naive even for myself to suggest that money has no complexion in the first sense I mentioned.

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  • Artax
    I disagree. The site is not ideal for retail and certainly not a market. Any market should be where the old one is because of the pedestrian traffic and how Bridgetown is read and interpreted by pedestrians. It is called a city’s legibility. The park will be a wonderful transition point as I stated previously on BU. Was the significance of Golden Square recognised in the Heritage Plan?

    Dullard
    Nothing whatsoever. I leff the discussion to the BU experts. Listening is good, it helps in identifying the bullshit. What do you have to contribute and based on what, your feels?🤣🤣

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  • @ David

    You would see my call for persons to transfer their funds from commercial banks to credit unions. Of course ultimately the nature of the system is that ultimately everything ends up in the banks but it would reallocate those monies to the credit unions giving them liquidity with which to invest. I suggest finding the most profitable investments as in these times for most persons savings would have dwindled meaning that any potential credit union investment ought to be in something with demonstrable fruits for members.

    @ Miller

    In this climate in the interest of growth stimulation people in conventional economic wisdom are encouraged to spend rather than save. However in my view were the credit unions to engage in such a product as I outlined persons saving in the credit unions would actually result in spending in the economy in these projects. So persons should save in order to spend so to speak.

    I will not engage in your race baiting. I do not own a company which imports used cars indeed I’ve never imported one myself. I don’t own any companies as you can probably tell. Therefore if you have an issue with the commercial practices of Indians in this country you ought to express it to them, not me as I have little influence over them and even less to do with them.

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  • I would like to see what shall come out of the National Register of Heritage Sites announced today. I hope not only a catalogue of sites but a catalogue of investment opportunities for PPPs or sole private sector investment.

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  • @Kahleel

    Was not aware under the laws governing credit unions were empowered to invest in projects.

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  • KK
    You are getting in over your head.

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  • @ David

    I just refreshed my memory of the Co-Operative Societies Act 2008 and saw no such provision barring investment by co-ops. However, I’m not a legal expert and invite guidance. Could you point me to such a regulation?

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  • @KK: bedtime lad! As TG said, the waters are getting a bit too deep for you.

    @Enuff
    What do you have to contribute and based on what, your feels?
    I’m just a Dullard, nothing to add whatsoever. Aren’t you are the self-proclaimed project management guru cum card carrying govt advisor? In board rooms in NYC and ting. lol
    Why don’t you try and give Mia some proppa advice? With CV19 the easy money dun and u will have to wuk for ya pay. If you can. 🤣🤣

    “When the tide goes out we will see who has been swimming naked”.
    — Warren E. Buffet

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Khaleel Kothdiwala
    You may be out of your depth, but rest assured that out of their depth is standard operating procedure for 96% of the hard back old men and women who post on BU.
    Just make sure you use being out of your depth to learn new things… a skill which escapes most on BU.

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  • @ David

    A cursory check of BCCUL’s by-laws reveals at s.6 (a) the ability of co-ops to engage in projects. So my point stands.

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  • @ David.

    As far as the advisory committee goes as I understand it, no agenda was given to them. It appears to be a case of ” see what wunna can come up with.”

    We are 6 weeks into the lockdown and what have you heard about firm plans to diversify the economy? Government has said that the virus has devastated their revenue base, yet we have not heard how they plan to cut their expenses.

    So far it seems to be business as usual from where I sit. I also doubt the MOF has a realistic idea of their revenue lost going forward, as is the case with our minister of tourism on future arrivals. We are betting the house on unpredictables when we should be leaning on certainties.

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  • @ Enuff

    Perhaps you’re still living in the 1950s to the late 1970s era when the Fairchild Street market was a ‘household name.’Times have changed significantly my friend….. and so too has the demographics.

    To ‘say’ “the site is NOT IDEAL for retail and certainly not a market” is ludicrous, since history INDICATES other wise. I must REMIND you that, prior to the construction of the NIS building, shops were located on that site. And, wasn’t the temporary Golden Square market located beside the Fire Service headquarters for over 10 years?

    Also, by mentioning “city legibility,’ you’re being theoretical. I’m sure you’re aware ‘Jordan’s Supermarket,’ which was once ‘Rick’s Supermarket’ is located a few yards from the proposed park’s site. As such, it’s reasonable to suggest “pedestrian traffic and how Bridgetown is read and interpreted by pedestrians,” should be equally applicable to those retail outlets.

    How does “city legibility” EXPLAIN the SUCCESS of BOTH RETAIL MARKETS? Surely it’s logical to conclude if “the site is not ideal for retail,” so too should be the site on which ‘Jordan’s Supermarket’ is located……. or even KFC.

    It’s becoming obvious you skewed your comments towards THEORY as a basis to SUPPORT the ‘freedom park.’ On the other hand, my comments are based on the KNOWLEDGE and ‘PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE’ I gained from being in a partnership, operating a stall at Golden Square temporary market.

    The site of that old market is too small and has outlived it use. The new market is supposed to be constructed similarly to the one at Oistins, including a ‘band stand.’ The plans clearly indicate there aren’t enough parking spaces for vendors and customers.

    You must bear in mind the new market also has to accommodate the vendors from the Golden Square, which includes 18 vendors from the food court, as well as butchers, hair salon and the other vendors that sold fruits and produce, in addition the legal vendors that remained around the environs of the old market.

    Golden Square was famous for it’s Friday evening karaoke sessions, which was sponsored by the operators of the food court stalls. The operators want to continue this tradition. If construction plans are to be revised because of social distancing, then, the new market will be even much smaller.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @PLT
    I like the reasoning, and the concept. my challenge is getting the math to work.
    How does a household making US$150K translate into Fx earnings of US$150K. An assumption they spend ALL they earn? Because their earnings are in a local account, they still OWN that money. When the bakery making salt breads needs to purchase flour, and goes to their financial firm to get Fx, that firm cannot simply grab Fx, and replace with $BDS from local accounts?
    Anyways I will plough through the numbers.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @Tron
    Unkle Kyff hasn’t lived IN Barbados for a long time. Sir Loin must be knocking down 90? Time for a new set of pirates.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    @ Khaleel Kothdiwala
    1.” ..to visit a wonderful oasis in a tormented world” Quote
    Well put , Sir. Now please tune into Brasstacks and listen to more wonderful stories about the “wonderful oasis” and the abundance of excellent drinking water in St Joseph St John and St Andrew.
    2. ” Our small size is a major barrier to producing economies of scale” Quote
    Kindly visit Collymore Rock. You would see a number of well built bungalows, some have been turned into prestigious commercial buildings. Those were built by a man named Tommy Miller. He used to export tamarinds to India back in the 60s. All he needed was a man that could climb and a crocus bag. Shake the tree and there was your foreign exchange !
    Now for a little imagination with apologies to Paul McCartney. Imagine:
    There are three furniture manufacturing plants, producing nothing but exquisite mahogany furniture; doors , bedposts , chairs , tables etc. All of them replicas of different periods created by our own craftsmen. Imagine souvenirs and other products. Imagine each company employing 150 well trained and dedicated employees in marketing, advertising etc. Imagine securing orders from the same hotels and commercial brands overseas. Imagine $500 mil in sales. Imagine that foreign exchange in the economy…..imagine i it’s not hard if you try……
    3. @PLT said this to you ” I am disappointed that a young person like yourself (kothdiwala) sway of such tired and worn out ideas….” Quote
    Mr. Kothdiwala its not the size its your diet: Cool aid. There is a young surgeon , Dr. Maurice Waldron, he is young too but I understand , from quite reliable sources that he was raised on goat milk. So, when he speaks on national issues he tends to be rather focus on fact rather than language. That’s the essential difference; cool aid is basically a non nourishment.
    Imagine there is no cool aid, it isn’t hard if you try……….

    Peace I admire your tenacity. Drink goat milk it works wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Rhianna has just been placed in a UK top ten list.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52637811

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  • Well..after years of telling them this would happen, a minister finally comes out and claims that cruise ships have damaged the island’s reefs, we said that for years since i personally saw how the islands in the South Pacific had reefs damaged nearly beyond repair not only by cruiseships but by the tourists themselves with their toxic suntan lotions and other chemicals they use, tourism had to be stopped, not sure if it ever recovered, so that the reefs themselves would recover…

    having multiple cruiseliners hovering over delicate reefs at the same time more than likely speeded up the damage that would have taken place over time anyway…

    when you don’t hear…you feel, the information about cruiseships and tourists destroying reefs has always been available, but greed, laziness and REFUSAL to upgrade to a much better more environmentally friendly, majority population enriching money earner tends to take precedence in the minds of the dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Artax
    I am not being theoretical. Your position is based on the experience of GS due to the closure of the Fairchild Street market. The site at Fairchild Street market is the better location for the reprovision of a market for many reasons. All those activities at GS would be bigger at the FS site. You may think the site is too small because your concept of a market is one with one floor. A park is as important to a city as vending. Let’s agree to disagree.

    Dullard
    “Aren’t you are the self-proclaimed project management guru cum card carrying govt advisor? In board rooms in NYC and ting. lol…..”

    I have never been any of the above. Thankfully.

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  • “You may think the site is too small because your concept of a market is one with one floor.”

    @ Enuff

    ‘Pray tell,’ how can my “concept of a market is one with one floor,” when, in my May 12, 2020 10:10 AM contribution, I mentioned the site where they’re going to build the GSFP, “should have been used to build an ultra modern market facility, similar to the ones in SLU or SVG?”

    St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ ‘New Central Market’ has FOUR (4) floors.

    Come on, my friend. According to Andrew Mason, “you’re struggling.”

    You have not presented at least one feasible explanation to JUSTIFY why the GSFP should be built or why a market shouldn’t be built on that site.

    All you’re doing is presenting GENERALIZED STATEMENTS, such “The site at Fairchild Street market is the better location for the reprovision of a market for many reasons.” What are these “many reasons?”

    But, as you ‘say,’ “Let’s agree to disagree.”

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  • I said may, so at least we are on the same floor in relation to floors. My opinion is not based on generalisations.

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  • @ Artax

    St Lucia is an excellent example of a well planned market. It is also a major tourist attraction on Saturdays as well.

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  • (Quote):

    “Dullard
    Aren’t you are the self-proclaimed project management guru cum card carrying govt advisor? In board rooms in NYC and ting. lol…..”
    I have never been any of the above. Thankfully.
    (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    We need our London-based correspondent “SPOT ON” to deal with this reddened face liar.

    Is this the same man who claimed to have been in charge of a project management team in which he was the only black-face minstrel?

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  • This is once again a typical insular discussion with a totally narrowed view. Do you really think that you can solve the structural problems of Barbados with a market, problems like

    overpopulation
    low productivity
    resource constraints
    dependence on tourism???

    It will be new for many Aborigines, but the world will not wait for Barbados. A high literacy rate and local university degrees are not worth the paper they are written on.

    As long as we have the dollar peg, coupled with low productivity due to poor work ethics, Barbados, like the past 12 years, will experience zero growth.

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  • @ John A

    Yes, SLU’s ‘Castries Market’ is a tourist attraction. It’s a place where tourists can also experience the island’s culture, through food, craft, art, music, dance, etc.

    A market such as this would bring added value to heritage tourism, in many ways than a park could offer. Some Barbadians are still of the mindset that a market is a place where the vendors are elderly women wearing straw hats and aprons, selling sweet potatoes, yams, cassava and eddoes.

    When ‘government’ should be looking to invest in projects that would create employment opportunities and assist in economic growth, they are spending millions of dollars to demolish buildings and build a park for people to lime. Something they have already been doing for years, in the adjacent park with Barrow’s statue and Queen’s Park.

    Like

  • @ Tron

    Despite the seriousness, tit for tats and ‘personal attacks and abuse,’ you have been providing this forum with an opportunity to laugh. Apparently I was wrong for thinking your job became redundant after the Medieval and Renaissance eras.

    Barbados may not be able to solve its structural problems with a market, but building one will provide opportunities for people to be innovative entrepreneurs. For example, during the Renaissance era, jesters used to entertain people in town markets. In addition to BU, you’ll have another stage on which to perform. So, don’t write them off as yet.

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  • @Artax

    On another thread here I asked a few weeks back what will the tourism people be doing differently post Covid to attract visitors in a highly competitive market? All the islands have sun and sea, so what are we going to do in order to make our product more authentic?

    Still waiting on an answer.

    Like

  • Miller
    Ah beg your pardon? Do tell how I am telling lies?

    Like

  • PRESS RELEASE

    Urgent Attention Should Be Given to the Unique Vulnerabilities and Challenges Faced by Caribbean Countries to Achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in the Context of the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond: Alicia Bárcena

    ECLAC’s Executive Secretary led yesterday an extraordinary meeting of the Community of Practice with Caribbean countries that are presenting their Voluntary National Reviews at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2020.

    (13 May 2020) The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is at stake and decades of progress in human development are at risk of being reversed if more attention is not given to supporting Caribbean countries in their pursuit of sustainable development, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) stressed on Tuesday, 12 May.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is occurring at a time when Caribbean countries are already facing tremendous challenges in implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given their unique vulnerability to external shocks, their high levels of indebtedness, limited access to concessional funding due to their middle-income status, their inability to counter blacklisting, compounded by the need for fiscal adjustments and debt restructuring, all within the context of their high exposure to climate change and extreme weather events, with a new hurricane season starting in two weeks’ time, Bárcena added.

    The Executive Secretary of ECLAC chaired a virtual extraordinary meeting of the Community of Practice to offer support to those Caribbean countries that are preparing to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to the 2020 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), scheduled to be held in July. The event was moderated by the Director of ECLAC’s subregional headquarters for the Caribbean, Diane Quarless, and included the participation of high-level authorities and national focal points for the 2030 Agenda of Barbados, Jamaica (as observer), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. The United Nations Resident Coordinators covering these countries, as well as experts from ECLAC’s Caribbean subregional office and headquarters in Santiago participated, as did other representatives of the United Nations system.

    In her remarks, the Executive Secretary recognized the commendable efforts being made by Caribbean countries to present their VNRs this year in such challenging times, this effort demonstrating the subregion’s unequivocal commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    “The process of inter-ministerial coordination, multi-stakeholder consultation and multi-dimensional analysis to account for the progress made in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which is already a complex task, becomes even more challenging in the context of a COVID-19 crisis, that is characterized by limited contact, competing priorities and huge economic, social, technological and human challenges”, she stressed.

    In her presentation, the Executive Secretary noted that only 10 years remain for countries to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, and that there are already warning signs regarding the achievement of the SDGs. In this regard, she informed that ECLAC had analyzed progress on implementation of the 17 SDGs in the region, by reviewing 72 statistical series of indicators. These showed that 4 targets have already been reached; 15 are likely to be reached given current trends; 8 need more public policy intervention; 13 need significant public policy intervention; 27 are at a standstill; and 5 are suffering setbacks.

    She concluded that, in light of its impact on economic, social and environmental matters in the short and medium term, the COVID-19 pandemic represents the greatest challenge that the subregion has faced since the financial crisis of 2008 and a real threat to the region’s sustainable development path in the context of the 2030 Agenda.

    In her intervention, the Honourable Marsha Caddle, Minister of Economic Affairs and Investment in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment of Barbados, underscored that despite the very challenging prospect of contemplating the submission of a VNR in the current circumstances, the occasion presented an important opportunity to highlight how the pandemic is affecting the achievement of specific SDGs and to scale up investments needed for the country, particularly in social protection, fiscal and financial inclusion policies, and debt restructuring schemes to enable transition to carbon neutrality. “It is not a business as usual kind of discussion or moment, we are proposing to really focus on the SDGs impacted by COVID-19 and present opportunities to fast track achievements on the SDGs and on renewed partnerships (Goal 17)”.

    Giselle Myers, Senior Economist, in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines highlighted the vision of her country to put people at the center of development, reiterating her government’s commitment to leave no one behind through the staging of a series of consultative processes for the VNR and through their continued effort to align their National Economic and Social Development Plan (2013 – 2025) with the 2030 Agenda.

    Joanne Deoraj, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development of Trinidad and Tobago, highlighted inextricable linkages between the SDGs and the National Development Strategy- Vision 2030, emphasizing a ”whole of government” and ”whole of society” approach, which has underscored the importance of collaboration and partnerships across the public sector, private sector, and civil society, including for the recovery plan post-COVID-19. Considering the pandemic and related challenges facing the country’s oil and gas sector, she also stressed the importance of ensuring that SDG progress is maintained, and every effort made to build resilience.

    The Executive Secretary of ECLAC called on countries to incorporate in their VNRs any pre-existing or new challenges that might have emerged from the current situation. She reiterated the continuing, committed, and innovative support being offered by ECLAC and the United Nations system as a whole in assisting the countries in this process, as well as in building resilience and recovery post-COVID-19 and beyond, and in helping them to advocate for a new global economic architecture that will consider the restructuring of domestic and external debt of Caribbean small islands developing States (SIDS).

    In this process, ECLAC has developed the COVID-19 Observatory with the support of the United Nations Resident Coordinators, which aims at offering analysis of the economic and social impacts of the pandemic and at monitoring the measures taken by the countries of the region to respond to the crisis. This is in addition to other tools and proposals, such as the SDG Gateway, a platform providing comprehensive information and data on the implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda, and the ECLAC Debt for Climate Adaptation Swap Initiative, which is a response to the two most urgent development needs facing the Caribbean: debt and vulnerability.

    “We must urgently move towards new development patterns that are oriented towards greater well-being, resilience, environmental sustainability, and inclusive and sustainable international governance based on the 2030 Agenda and other SIDS agenda as well as foster solidarity with Caribbean countries”, Alicia Bárcena concluded.

    For queries, contact ECLAC’s Public Information Unit.

    Email: prensa@cepal.org; Telephone: (56 2) 2210 2040.

    Like

  • @ Artax May 13, 2020 11:31 AM

    I am not that type for the common people, but prefer to play the fool as a doormat in the royal court.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    David, On paper, Barbados has one of the higest per capita income not only in the caribbean, but also in the AMERICAS. While I agree that this metric is very flawed, it is what it is. No multilaterals or Paris club lenders would seriously consider our case or others with similar over-bloated per capita GDP, for even loan concession much less debt forgiveness.

    Time and time again hurricanes have devastated high -income economies in the region (e.g Bahamas and Antigua) and they too have cried poverty to their lenders only to be fallen on deaf ears.

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  • @fortyacres

    COVID is the new orange (normal)

    >

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  • fortyacresandamule

    This covid 19, after stripping all the frills and economic gimmick from our economy, will now reveal our true economic value. Probably our true per capita GDP after the above adjustment and taking productivity into concern is around US$ 3000 rather than $US16000.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @David, will this new normal include a radical change in our pre-covid penchant for wanton import-consumption.? You know, most people in general want to eat and to have their cakes at the same time.

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  • Two days and no Hal A or Mariposa on this topic? Have they been silenced? I don’t agree with many of their positions but they should be allowed to state their thoughts.

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  • My last comment went into moderation, is this the new normal?

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  • @Sargeant

    Have you not read that Hal Austin and ac were put in moderation? If you include their names in a comment what will you think will happen?

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  • @fortyacres

    It will take time to wean a people from a lifelong addiction to conspicuous consumption, including our leaders. What is the first decision a newly elected MP does? Purchase a shiny new auto mobile.

    Like

  • @ fortyacresandamule May 13, 2020 4:49 PM

    Conclusion: If this is the case, the wages for the local masses must be reduced by 80 percent. Alternatively, a “revaluation” to 1:10 will do (I use this new term to pacify the local Aboriginal establishment). Barbados will become a paradise for investors. They had 54 years at time to play independence like little children. Now it’s time for the IMF, for the adults, to step in.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    Our foreign exchange regime ( the peg) has withstand many crisis in the past. Many in the past have even predicted its demise, to no avail. Its resiliency is a mystery to even yours truly. Historically, many countries have to abandon their various non-floating foreign exchange regime after experiencing various forms of economic shocks. Not Bim however. Since 2008, our cummulative economic growth has been negative. And at one point our reserve was so low, it could only buy a few weeks of import. Yet still, the peg prevail.

    This time around is quite different. Some say a perfect storm. With our main source of foreign currency inflows decimated and our propensity for import still intact, can the peg prevail in this greatly unbalance market even with an IMF programme running in the background? For better or worse the peg has been good to us to some extent.

    Like

  • @ fortyacresandamule May 13, 2020 6:06 PM

    I agree with you insofar as the peg has at least stabilized the real estate prices for the upper class.

    In general, I find it commendable that you openly state that we have not had any economic growth since 2008. That is the price of the peg.

    I am not advocating a sliding scale of devaluation as in Guyana or Jamaica, but a basket of currencies (especially GBP and EUR in addition to USD) or alternatively a one-off devaluation to the level of local competitors, i.e. EC$.

    It is also clear that our politicians will not voluntarily anticipate this. That would be an admission that the entire economic policy of the past 12 years has simply been a load of crap. OK, it was. LOL.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Tron. Your suggestion is a reasonable one. We cannot afford to have a free floating currency like some jurisdictions. A quick glance at the currency maket around the world shows a collapse in currencies of various emerging and developing countries. Most south american countries currencies have depreciated by over 10% year over year the since the covid pandemic. Brasil and Argentina lead the way ( over 40% depreciation for both countries ). The Icelandic krona, the only small island state with a TRUE FREE FLOATING currency, has lost 15% of its value yr\yr since the pandemic. So is Mauritius and the Seychelles. The Maldives so far is the only exception. The jamaica dollar hasn’t been spared also. It has lost 8% of its value since march and experts are predicting a 25% loss in value by the end of the year.

    Like

  • @David
    Have you not read that Hal Austin and ac were put in moderation? If you include their names in a comment what will you think will happen?
    ++++++++++++++
    Wuhloss yuh mean yuh can’t even mention their names? That said it is still surprising that they haven’t even made an appearance on this topic unless their moderation means “deep six”.

    Like

  • (Unquote):
    This time around is quite different. Some say a perfect storm. With our main source of foreign currency inflows decimated and our propensity for import still intact, can the peg prevail in this greatly unbalance market even with an IMF programme running in the background? For better or worse the peg has been good to us to some extent. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This Covid-determined time around will make sure there will be no further ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ and delays regarding the long overdue restructuring of the public sector along with its surfeit of consultants and paid advisers.

    Why would the IMF advance to the country further loans for balance of payments support when they will be used mainly to prop up the highly politicized obese public sector and a UWI campus producing graduates in law and social sciences for a world belonging to the 1990’s while 40 acres of prime agricultural remain in mothballs?

    When is this administration going to disclose the recommendations contained in the Robinson Report?

    Or would the report be ‘plagiarized’ and distributed as the findings of the Covid council of BS talkers edited by its original commissioner Sinliar?

    To use an ole Bajan proverb: “Moon does run ‘til day cetch it.”

    Like

  • @ fortyacresandamule May 13, 2020 7:39 PM

    A closer link to GBP and to EUR or a slight decrease in the exchange rate would really help us to attract more tourists from Britain and Europe. With the strong dollar, this group has to pay 30 percent more for a holiday here.

    Also consider that the tourists should not only stay in the hotel, but also eat out. The high BBD exchange rate is having a big impact there.

    Neither GBP nor EUR will recover quickly. If we want to maintain the dollar peg alone, we must be consistent, i.e. attract more tourists from the USA.

    Like

  • @ Miller May 14, 2020 8:01 AM

    We should assume that tourists will be absent substantially for two years. With the current excessive consumption behaviour of our population, the currency reserves will then be gone. This also means, of course, that we will no longer be able to service our foreign debts. We would then have to declare default again.

    In this situation we have two options:

    “enhanced” exchange rate (I use this term so that the local establishment doesn’t panic again immediately, LOL)

    or reduction of government spending.

    Jamaica took the first path because it’s politically easier. Since our government is not even now in a position to adopt or implement substantial structural reforms with a 30-0 majority in parliament, we will go the way of Jamaica.

    Like

  • @ Tron May 14, 2020 9:22 AM

    It’s amazing how the Bajan political administration can continue to live in la la land expecting the economic effects of the ongoing pandemic would just go away like a bad case of the cold or flu.

    How can these public sector parasites especially those at the top of the remuneration food chain expect to continue to enjoy the same level of salaries when the taxation body called the private sector is about to be severely trimmed with many on the verge of going under?

    What is the political administration waiting for before serious cutback measures are put in place?
    For the forex reserves to run down as they were in May 2018 to put the Mickey mouse dollar in ICU waiting for a knock on the door from the international monetary undertaker?

    Who then are they going to blame when the fiscal shit hit the payroll fan?

    Covid which every country in the region is infected with or the EU for their blackmailing threats?

    The same way it will be going to Parliament to rectify the law for one why not use the same opportunity to amend the Constitution to give the government the legal right to cut public sector salaries?

    Like

  • The cabal around the police office is only a side note, nothing more.

    The opposition is also shirking the question of whether we should dismiss civil servants, reduce their salaries or devalue the Barrow-Dollar. This proves once again the opposition’s dishonesty. Just look at the Senator, our union leader: he is personally partly responsible for the bloated welfare state, the low productivity, the rotten work ethic and the people’s sense of entitlement. In my opinion, the trade unions are the main evil in Barbados. They prevent public sector wages from being properly adjusted to reality.

    I just remind you the blackmailing of GOV by the unions, the totally insane, excessive increase in civil servants’ salaries or the blackmailing of COW by the unions just three months ago.These union leaders have zero economic expertise and with their eyes open, they are destroying the economy.

    Our government should therefore ban the unions for a while until the COVID19 crisis is over. Radical times require radical decisions.

    Like

  • Waaaaait Senior Editor and the Butterfly get quarantined? Murdaaaaaaaaa!🤣🤣

    Like

  • This is what happens when you live in some white s***hole instead of living on the platinum coast of Barbados. Those who cannot afford to live with us simply have to bear the medical consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Miller. So you are saying without deep public sector adjustment, the Barbadian mickey mouse dollar is going down? I would add that the longer this pandemic drags on, maybe even those reforms might not be enough.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    “we should dismiss civil servants, reduce their salaries or devalue the Barrow-Dollar.” [quote]

    Your most honourable and supreme leader says there will be NO dismissals, salaries will not be reduced, but part of them will be paid in IOU’s, a.k.a GoB Bonds, and this deferment will ease pressure on the dollar. All civil servants will be taken on a tour of the NIS, where their vault is full of similar IOU’s, so they can see first hand what they look like.
    No similar promises were made to the SOE’s, which financially are a far greater concern than the civil servants. They will be merged into 6 entities.

    Like

  • “Who then are they going to blame when the fiscal shit hit the payroll fan?”

    even more importantly, who are they going to blame when the BROKE ASS TOURISTS they are so determined to keep the majority population so DEPENDENT ON for generations to come ……are too broke to even travel….most of the elderly, wealthy ones will be DEAD from the plague anyway, so too will those who saved for years just to take one trip…..and the younger ones living day to day on credit cards WHO ARE ALL NOW UNEMPLOYED BY THE TENS OF MILLIONS will need over a decade to recover from their current BROKE STATE, since they cannot even now pay their credit card bills….

    ……the good news is ya wont find any of that riffraff in Barbados telling the local people how they would starve if they broke selves do not come into the island as tourists, most of their uppity tails are starving now in their own countries…they are so broke…could not happen to a better bunch of useless jokers…

    what will these dumbass leaders in Barbados and the Caribbean do when all they know or want to do is sit their lazy selves down and depend on tourism only…and fully expect the population to accept their backwardness and LACK OF BRAIN POWER that will never lead to progress, growth, development or wealth creation in the Black majority populations… ..since all the nuisance leaders think about is what they can get for themselves.

    Like

  • @ NorthernObserver May 15, 2020 4:16 AM

    It is wonderful to see our Most Honourable Prime Minister de facto cutting salaries.

    For the notary: We had the discussion on BU even before the announcement. It’s good to see the government taking on board our austerity proposals. – I will send my bill to our Prime Minister today, at the usual rates in London. Good advice costs money.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ NorthernObserver May 15, 2020 4:16 AM

    “burden sharing”, “forced savings”

    Our Prime Minister uses the same terms or at least very similar ones.

    It is really good to know that our Prime Minister relies on her truly loyal advisers in times of dire need. She finds them on BU 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Tron May 15, 2020 7:55 AM

    Where is the miller’s ‘cut’?

    I will send you under separate cover an invoice for copyright fees equivalent to 30% of the first month’s payroll cost saving which you ought to pass on to your Majesty.

    Like

  • Have you not read that Hal Austin and ac were put in moderation?
    What for? They do no worse than most here. Hal has been in Blighty too long.
    Mariposa is just Enuff. Two sides of the same poultry.

    Like

  • Wait Miller…have they CUT the salaries of the BLOATED, OBESE cabinet, the hangerson and parasitic consultants yet….where is their sacrifice, they think everyone should sacrifice except for them, when they do not even give VALUE FOR TAXPAYER’S MONEY…

    Like

  • It is only logical that the government only wants to make de facto cuts in civil servants’ salaries. For in the private sector almost all employees have been sacked.

    If you don’t earn anything, the government can’t take anything away from you.

    Like

  • Looks like the exorbitant profit margins that the local merchants charge is going to be hard to keep up. Imagine paying three times the equivalent price for something from developed countries.

    Along with wage cuts, will the guv’ment have price controls on necessities and investigations into prices of most goods.

    A profit margin of twenty per cent is to be expected , but two hundred percent?

    Barbadians have been making millionaires of a few for decades.

    Remember when a certain special price retailers started and after a few weeks their prices jumped?

    Them learnt that they was causing de peoplesses to ask questions. Cant have that. Gotta make money.

    Like

  • @ Crusoe May 15, 2020 11:04 AM

    The high prices have the following factors addtional factors:

    First, small quantities ordered from abroad;
    Secondly, transport costs on a small container ship;
    Third, VERY high customs duties and taxes.

    Profit is therefore only one factor among others.

    When the government introduces price controls, as in Venezuela, all the shelves are empty within a month.

    You should simply accept that the declaration of independence and the duties required by the “peg” (1:2) have a high price. Surely you don’t seriously expect the indigenous people in an unproductive banana republic to have the same purchasing power as those in the North? You should be more prepared for a decreasing purchasing power like in South America or Africa. That’s where our path leads.

    The level of consumption in Barbados must adapt to low productivity and a weak work ethic.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    The Bahamas, just a few days, have instituted foreign capital controls to reduce the pressure on its foreign reserve.They have ordered foreign banks ( all canadians) not to remit dividend payments to home country. Plus all overseas investments by residents and local citizens are to be put on hold until the economy returns to sustainable level.

    The Bahamas is the most tourism-dependent economy in CARICOM. They have reserve of US$2 billion, mostly borrowed money, equivalent of 8 months of import. If this pandemic drags on to year-end, they too will have a fight on their hand to maintain the 1:1 exchange regime.

    Like

  • Tron
    May 15, 2020 12:32 PM

    @ Crusoe May 15, 2020 11:04 AM First, small quantities ordered from abroad;
    Secondly, transport costs on a small container ship;
    Third, VERY high customs duties and taxes.
    Profit is therefore only one factor among others.

    All of those, and a few more things thereto related to profit, ha. Which I will not go into here, but many know. Hence the reason for not twice the price, but three or four times. That is just ridiculous.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Tron

    “It is really good to know that our Prime Minister relies on her truly loyal advisers in times of dire need. She finds them on BU 🙂“

    Whether you write in jest is unimportant but your statement quoted above rings true.
    It’s time we declare this prolonged honeymoon of the current government over. I note with utter amazement that the Prime Minister is being treated with kid gloves when it comes to the embarrassing spectacle of the current Attorney General who is a complete failure and who has never distinguished himself in that office. In any other country, he would have been dismissed from the cabinet.
    This brings me to the consultants in the Ministry of Finance. If they were brought on to guide the Prime Minister through the now destroyed BERT program, we the taxpayers should want to know what purpose they are serving. Unless they have been assigned to create a replacement, their assault on the Treasury, can no longer be justified. Certainly, I believe that Mottley has the skills and the support of the country in guiding us through this unfortunate calamity that is not of her making but she should not be allowed to get away with sophisticated squandermania. There is now no excuse for a bloated cabinet that even without COVID was perhaps the most blatant nonsense that we have ever allowed a Prime Minister to get away with in the first place.
    We have too many ministers who are basically just trying to pretend that getting photo ops is being ministerial.
    While I will continue to support the efforts to ensure that the country does its best to fight COVID -19 and I maintain, she has demonstrated excellent leadership in that regard; I think that this administration now needs to be put under the microscope . The honeymoon has been way too long. The Prime Minister must now tell the country in clear terms what are her administration’s plans to guide the country in the post COVID – 19. She is almost or certainly guaranteed a second term and has the political capital. We need to hear her more as Minister of Finance. I did not go in any polling booth to vote for Dr. Mascoll or Dr. Persuad.

    Like

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