2020 Central Bank Economic Review – More Hard Times …

Central Bank of Barbados Governor Cleviston Haynes delivers the Bank’s review of Barbados’ economic performance in 2020 and takes questions from the media.

Central Bank of Barbados Review of the Barbados Economy in 2020.pdf (4.53 MB)

190 comments

  • Comment received via email – blogmaster

    I wanted to put this comment in submissions but I didn’t know how to as the link to submissions is not working. All currencies in the world are fiat currencies meaning that they are not backed by anything. During the 1970s Richard Nixon took the United States off the gold standard which at the time backed U.S. currency to gold. At the same time Richard Nixon made a deal with Saudi Arabia to transact oil sales with the U.S. dollar to keep the U.S dollar as the world dominant currency. The biggest problem with the Bajan dollar is that it is pinned with the U.S. dollar 1 to 2.1 yet the U.S. dollar will lose 2% to 5% of its value every year making it a complete scam of currency. The best way for West Indian countries to go around this is to have a silver or gold backed currency which can be traded to other countries as gold and silver are the only true forms of currency.

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  • Stephen: Fallout will be nearer $42m
    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY colvillemounsey@nationnews. com
    ECONOMIST JEREMY STEPHEN says the Barbados economy stands to lose closer to $42 million as a result of the impending two-week shutdown, almost double what has been estimated by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
    Even so, Stephen said his estimation was extremely conservative, as it has already been established that the Barbados economy generated about $20 million daily.
    He argued that if one were to estimate that the shutdown resulted in only 15 per cent of the economy coming to a standstill, given that utilities and some key sectors would remain open, the loss would be double the $20 million to $25 million estimated by Mottley when she announced the national reset on Tuesday.
    “I can’t really say where the Prime Minister got her figures from but we are going to lose much more than that $20 million or so that she is predicting,” Stephen said.
    “A total shutdown – and I mean a scenario where nothing is working – equates to $20 million per day. If I were to conservatively – and I mean very conservatively – argue that the shutdown will result in just 15 per cent of the economic activity being shut down, then we are looking at $42 million. As I said this is extremely conservative, but we can go with this bare minimum until more details come out.”
    In her address to the nation, Mottley, who was lamenting the death of three persons during the second wave of the pandemic, said: “I can’t guarantee that we won’t lose others, but we are going to guarantee that we fight like hell not to lose any. What will it cost us? Probably a significant amount, probably close to $20 million to $25 million over the next two weeks and probably deeper in terms of wider economic impact. For sure, the economy is going to be seriously affected, but as we discussed with the International Monetary Fund’s fiscal affairs mission up to yesterday, we must spend what we will and we will keep the receipts and be accountable.”
    However, Stephen argued that the bill for the other indirect challenges resulting from the shutdown and the current state of affairs with regard to spread of the virus and the presence of the more infectious UK variant, was still due to come.
    He pointed out that the roll-out of the door-to-door testing programme, the expanded health service and the damage to Barbados’ reputation as a safe haven from COVID-19 would be hard hit, adding that the Welcome Stamp programme, which had potential as a major foreign exchange earner, could be a casualty of this development.
    “It is clear right now that every dollar was not a good dollar, especially since this may have happened because we chased those US dollars, but that is hindsight. We have to now spend a significant amount on a public health programme that will go across the economy for a two-week shutdown.
    “You might have noticed that the Welcome Stamp programme is not being pushed or promoted as hard as it was a couple months ago. Those Welcome Stampers came for a safe environment that allowed them to move around freely. Ten thousand Welcome Stampers are likely to be worth more than 100 000 tourists that would pass through and hardly spend a cent. This is going to impede the attractiveness of Barbados to those Welcome Stampers, and if the shutdown does not work you can expect them to leave because they left their home for safety reasons.”
    The former University of the West Indies banking and finance lecturer also predicted that the fallout would also be experienced in terms of job losses, arguing that the shutdown was likely to further balloon the unemployment numbers. However, he acknowledged that the time chosen for the shutdown was best, as it was now at the end of an abbreviated high season for tourism.
    “A good few jobs are going to be lost and I do believe that there is also going to be a general drop in productivity in that time. It is a funny period, but it is the best time to take the risk, given that most of the tourists have left already. The country has enough foreign exchange to survive and the International Monetary Fund, according to the Prime Minister, is more amenable to the action being taken.”

    Source: Nation

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  • Most public servants saying no to BOSS
    MOST GOVERNMENT WORKERS who qualify to receive bonds under the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS) are saying no to the programme.
    Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes yesterday confirmed an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report which stated that most public sector workers were still choosing to receive their salaries in cash.
    “As it relates to the BOSS programme, I think about just over 25 per cent of the BOSS programme [bonds] are held by public servants and the remainder is sold into the secondary market and credit unions, and pension funds and individuals and other financial institutions have been buying it,” Haynes said in response to a question yesterday during his 2020 economic review press conference.
    BOSS is an 18-month initiative launched by Government in July last year to generate economic activity by shifting a portion of its spending on wages to capital works projects. The scheme was earmarked for public servants within Central Government or select state-owned enterprises that receive transfers from Government.
    When the venture was launched last July, $4.6 million in bonds were issued, and of this amount $1.2 million was retained by public servants, with the remaining $3.4 million sold on the secondary market to individuals and institutions.
    The Central Bank is the registrar, transfer, and paying agent for the BOSS bonds and the Governor said they were being issued “at the rate of about just over $4.5 million a month… and so for the first several months I think it has gone quite well from that perspective”.
    Haynes said they would continue to monitor the programme’s performance and he encouraged individuals “to invest in these bonds because they do pay an attractive interest rate, they have a relatively short maturity of only four years”.
    “And therefore they seem to be a good investment option for those who would want to invest, given that the other investment options on the market are basically paying you close to zero. This really represents an opportunity for persons to be able to buy those bonds,” said the Governor.
    In a report issued on completion of the fourth review of its programme with Barbados, the IMF said that while the BOSS programme could be seen as a retail savings programme for civil servants that could compete with bank deposits, “so far, take-up has been modest, with most civil servants preferring to receive their salaries in cash”.
    “By end-September 2020, about $19 million (0.2 per cent of GDP) in bonds were issued. The authorities expect to issue about $90 million (one per cent of GDP) in long-term domestic securities under the programme,” the IMF added.

    Source: Nation

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  • More help coming for small businesses
    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY colvillemounsey@nationnews. com
    MINISTER OF ENERGY, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds says Government is considering ways of removing some of the red tape as they seek to roll out more relief funding for small businesses to survive the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
    In an interview with the DAILY NATION, the minister explained that the small business community had been dealt an especially bad hand throughout the pandemic and it has worsened with the advent of the second wave, which resulted in a 15-day lockdown, starting February 3.
    During this period, only key essential services will be allowed to operate, while village shops, vending and other mainstay components of the small business sector will be closed.
    In addition to the impending fallout, Symmonds pointed out that the development was the latest in a series of heavy blows to the sector, as many of the events, which are high points on the small business calendar, have been casualties of the pandemic.
    He explained that it is for this reason that he met colleague ministers in both Finance, Agriculture and Maritime Affairs as well as technical advisors in order to attempt to work out a means of settling some form of business interruption assistance. He said that this was important in easing the pain and to ensure that as many businesses as possible can remain solvent and ride out the pandemic.
    However, Symmonds did not state how much funds are being considered at the moment for the relief effort.
    “Small and micro business in Barbados has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. The consequences of the need to protect public health has meant that traditional early year business opportunities have been significantly interrupted. Areas of interruptions are being seen in the reduced level of tourists on our beaches and streets and in the cancellation of major festivals like Agrofest and the Holetown Festival,” he noted.
    He said that while it is important that Government insist that small enterprises are regularised by registering with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) and recognised umbrella advocacy bodies, it must be balanced with the fact that the relief to that sector of the business community is urgently needed.
    Must register
    “I want to emphasise that while we want businesses to be viable, we also must have business operators register whether at NIS, BRA or wherever. This is essential and going forward that is a conversation I will have with all of the sectors under my jurisdiction,” said Symmonds.
    Conversely, he added: “The conversation I am having with my colleagues in Government is that people in business right now need grants, seed capital and ease of access to funds, without the red tape and excessive bureaucracy. Put differently we have to fight against the severe threat of COVID-19; that threat comes in the form of a risk of loss of employment and collapse of business, and an appropriate framework for information to be obtained and funding for working capital has to be provided for us to have a satisfactory response to the COVID-19 threat.”
    Ahead of the last lockdown last April, the Mia Amor Mottley administration had allocated $20 million for the small business sector relief. Three months later the Small Business Association reported that less than five per cent had been accessed, as a large percentage of the 7 500 small enterprises were not able to meet the qualifying criteria.
    Symmonds contends that at this stage it is going to come down to balancing the immediate needs with future aspirations.
    “A few things are becoming very clear, however, and the first is that our small and micro business community must continue to be financially included in the process of delivering assistance. Equally, folks have to help us to help themselves and this means that our micro businesspeople must come into the mainstream of activity; they must for example pay NIS, as government cannot simply hand people money, so we must have some degree of certainty about business operations,” he stressed.

    Source: Nation

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  • The economy is to grow by five percent
    What am.i not seeing or missing thst the Gov knows and is not telling the public like how is that number possible
    So far in three yeats govt has not presented a plan gor creating economic growth
    The tourism industry is in the toilet and in order for barbados to have any growth a feasible and sustainable economic plan geared to increasing employment must be laid out by govt

    Liked by 1 person

  • David,

    Now is the time for consideration of ‘where does Barbados want to be?’ in five to ten years. Everyone needs to look at what is really important and consider on how these goals are achieved.

    A SWOT analysis so to speak, but moreso, adding the philosophical view to it. Surely, you want to:

    be in a position whereby local manufacturing is revived. A thriving furniture industry, aka Basil Forbes, where hotels and offices use very little imported furniture. A thriving fashion design and manufacturing industry, with the manufacturing skills to match. Designs and quality to satisfy both the local jeans and short sleeve shirt peeps, but also purchases by incoming high net worth visitors, who value the Barbados fashion brand? Quality footwear, building on the skills of the old Temple Yard craftsmen? Why do we import ill fitting shoes from over and away, on a tropical island?
    a thriving agricultural sector, where many small family run players supplement the large farms. Such that Barbadian hotels, restaurants and homes can get the volume of high quality local produce. Visitors eat quality local food. There is no need to provide rib eye and so on. That is not local. It is a visit to experience the Barbados brand.
    Excellent medical care and a small but strong health tourism sector. Hip transplants, cardio surgery treated by the best medical care and aftercare. Expanded qualified nurses and aftercare support teams. This also provides opportunities for such skilled people overseas, leading to greater foreign remittances over time.
    An improving and skilled IT industry, for software programmers. This is a huge area worldwide and tremendous benefit can redound to Barbados by building its talent pool in this area. Start this training with the teenagers.
    A more gentle and courteous society. Yes, this may seem a strange thought to some. But what has crept in has been a harsh approach in many ways. I was never one for the ZR culture. Push and grab. Yes, it was the dollar behind it, the fellas hustling. But that does not make the idea right. That crept into other areas. But that was not the start of it and we need to examine the impact of historical events on the psyche and how that understanding can be used to uplift and increase positivity. When negativity has been drummed in from long time, that can be damaging. Bob’s ‘One Love’ should become a mantra for all. I mean that.
    An improved care system for the elderly, such that they are comfortable after all they have given. There is much to be done here, but the aim should be clear, without going into details at this time.

    This is where Barbados needs to start now, to go forward. To go forward in any velocity, both speed and direction are required. Speed alone moves position, but not necessarily in the desired direction. How can true velocity be achieved, without knowing and agreeing on the desired direction?

    Hope springs eternal. One Love.

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  • @Crusoe

    What you suggested should be advanced? Certainly it should not be at the concept stage.

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  • DavidJanuary 28, 2021 7:00 AM

    What evidence or indications exist to demonstrate advancement? Further, such plans should be communicated generally, have not seen anything on this. They cannot be in a vacuum, nor held amongst a few.

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  • @Crusoe

    It was a rhetorical musing.

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  • @ Crusoe, @ David
    Nothing said here is new. Why can’t you all accept that we are not moving away from all the eggs in one basket economic policy?
    Why can’t you accept that to restructure or change anything calls for inspirational leadership that is lacking throughout the region?
    At the very beginning of this crisis, we had clowns on BU arguing that our sunshine and villas would rescue the economy. We then fooled ourselves that because we were gloriously humanitarian to distressed cruise liners that they would be thousands of tourists flooding the country.
    We are not realistic and now we are pretending that small shops spread the
    virus .
    At the very beginning of this crisis, we were talking about never letting a good crisis go to waste. The immediate response was to prop up the same industry that was affected most by the crisis.
    In today’s paper, I read that $20 000 000 was placed to assist small businesses some months ago. As of today only 5% of had utilized the offer because out of the 7500 small business only a tiny fraction had “ met the criteria”.
    In other words , we offered small businesses assistance for which they could not qualify. Pure political PR.
    One step forward two step backward. As I have stated a million times we are the only country in the world that claimed we diversified an economy and ended up with one industry.
    It’s time to get serious and take our heads from buried so deep in our lovely white sand.
    The simple truth is that COVID has exposed our foundations .
    The first order of business now is for all of us to be responsible and assist all efforts to bring the virus under serious control.
    Hopefully we would learn from this experience that we want race horses and not fancy decorated show ponies.

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  • COX! they are holding all things and money until the Election, the news will be we have turned the corner of the last 10 years the last 3 or 4 years of this cov19 fraud! They are all paid liars, Remove them no later than 2023, or your pain will reach until 2028, Remove this Crime Minister Despot! After a full Forensic Audit, all shall be know, Other is watching! Despot looking to hit the 3 Trillion$ marks on the laundering of U$ Fund$. Watch the show take note, Don’t drink BWA water it put people to sleep!

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  • Vincent Codrington

    Another quarterly report that should elicit no surprises. It fairly reflects what is happening on the ground. The decline of 18% of GDP may be a bit generous ,but choice of base is subjective.

    All money is fiat money,including gold and silver. These are only valuable because of a consensus / social contract. Their unsuitability as a medium of exchange is their scarcity and the unfair advantages they give to countries with the dwindling supply.

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  • @ angela cox January 28, 2021 6:30 AM
    “The economy is to grow by five percent
    What am.i not seeing or missing thst the Gov knows and is not telling the public like how is that number possible
    So far in three yeats govt has not presented a plan gor creating economic growth
    The tourism industry is in the toilet and in order for barbados to have any growth a feasible and sustainable economic plan geared to increasing employment must be laid out by govt..”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well spotted, the multi-misnomer pupating Mariposa!

    Maybe some of Hal Austin’s pollen of pedantry is rubbing off on you the blue-blooded yellow butterfly.

    But you must admit that the now ‘lost-at-sea’ Guv has covered his technical arse by using the get-out-of-jail catchall estimate of “Below 5%”.

    That would also cover any actual ‘Negative economic growth’ outcomes of, say, (minus) 5% for 2021.

    What the Guv has failed to highlight (and deliberately so) are those sectors where that ‘below’ 5% (economic) growth is projected to be generated; but clearly not in tourism, manufacturing or retailing.

    What are those investment projects- both in the private and public sectors- required to produce any major signs or shoots of economic activity which could lead to any measurable quantity of economic growth?

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  • Do you really wanna know about Hard Times
    Hard Times
    The have all have all and the have none have none
    We buck up on a Hard Times

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  • The Gov has joined govt PR bandwagon trying to sell bull shit as perfume
    Any one who has looked across the social and economic landscape sees doom and gloom
    Him not telling the true status of unemployment is a tell that govt expectation of further unemployment is grim
    However he tries to roll the dice with a projection mark of a five percent growth which is between slim and none

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  • @Vincent

    You forgot to include how speculators are great influencers in the equation?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David January 28, 2021 9:40 AM

    How come the Guv of the CBB did not ‘produce’ a % statistic for the unemployment situation?

    How about using the last ‘known’ figure as a base and adjust it accordingly for the number of unemployment claims and for any restart and / or ‘new’ contributors to the NIS?

    At least the users of his report would have a much less cloudy picture of the state of employment/unemployment in Barbados.

    His predecessor did a similar massaging/manipulation of the labour statistics to please his political Creator. So he has a precedent to follow to provide a more informed picture of the Bajan economy especially in these much more challenging times which no one would want to ascribe to any incompetent ‘doings’ of the current administration.

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  • @Miller

    Is BSS responsible for compiling employment statistics?

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  • @ David January 28, 2021 10:12 AM

    It has always been so.

    Not only employment but all statistics of a ‘national’ kind.
    Just like the ONS in the UK.

    That did not stop his predecessor from being creatively imposing when the mother of invention so requires.

    How can you have economic growth statistics without knowledge of the impact of that growth on the employment variable of the national economic equation?

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  • Ha ha
    2.7 billion in international reserves should make the blp yard birds including speckled fowl David happy
    They like counting money
    Nothing else matters to them even when the economy is taking a beating and households are under enormous stress helping govt pay the debt
    Also gov.had to come to telling a truth that BEST was in ICU

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  • The usual annual BULLSHIT BAFFLES BRAINS REPORT, same old same old, change the dates and use again for 2021. Not worth spending any of my extensive COVID lockdown time reading or anaylising.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Miller

    How would you define unemployment in this Pandemic? Would any metric you come up with be meaningful? It certainly cannot be consistent/ comparable with previous employment figures. Therefore they will have no useful value.
    The Governor of CBB remit is to give an economic report as the figures and analyses indicate. His job is not to “massage” statistics nor follow any perceived ”precedents”.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 9 :40 AM
    Growing up in the country, I was always taught to be wary of speculators. They used the “stilliard “to rob poor people of their backyard raised farm animals. I have translated that neurosis to my professional life.

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  • Many restaurants are now facing financial closure in Barbados because of the new lockdown. And what are our our masses doing? They participated in numerous “bus crawls” and sabotaged our economy.

    We cannot have our businessmen suffering while the masses insist on wage continuation and even hazard pay. They are instigated by certain union officials. The outspoken senator sadly lacks any sense of responsibility for needy business and for the common good – quite unlike our government.

    Time to fight such instigation! The emergency powers of our government authorize any action necessary to preserve the common good.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Vincent Codrington January 28, 2021 11:15 AM

    So why did he and his predecessor supplied ‘unemployment’ statistics (whether ‘managed or massaged’) is previous reports?

    What was the relevance?

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  • @Vincent

    In an environment where a new way of thinking is required it is hard for many to unfreeze traditional learning.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Article by Jeremy Stephen
    The economist makes some valid points when it comes to the amount of money that will be lost during this useless “pause”.
    But regarding overall analysis he is totally off.
    Nobody was coming here or almost nobody was coming here because they felt it was “safe”
    The proof.
    First of all because Barbados was testing all incomers and forcing hotel quarantine THERE WAS NO TOURISM OR VISITORS HERE in any significant number since October 15th. Anyone willing to fly and go on vacation was not coming to Jail Barbados, but to places that are truly open such as Mexico, Jamaica, Antigua, Dominican Republic and Florida. Anyone who was/is scared of Covid is not going on a plane but hiding in their basement.
    The Welcome Stamp, I wish to write a longer note that hopefully dear Editor will publish later. But in a nutshell. I know over 20 welcome stamp families. NOT a one came here to feel “safe”. All of them came here because in their home states or provinces face to face schools were closed, or closing or every other day or they didn’t believe politicians would not close the.
    All those that could, came here so their children could go to face to face school at st. lukes, providence, and the other private schools, The rest with teenage kids kept them in online school from their home country, but came here to be able to enjoy the sun, sand and sea because one thing Barbados has is perfect weather compared to Pittsburgh or Manchester.
    Every single one of these families was and is planning on going back to their home nation. The welcome stamp was an adventure of sorts. The reality is that a number of them now are looking at going back home NOW, because all schools here are online and in their home states such as California or Illinois schools are opening and in Canada other than one province all schools are open and by Feb 5th all will be open. There is more to the welcome stamp debate but the safety aspect is not one of them.

    To @crusoe we differ on many things and I differ on your idea of making Barbados into a health tourism destination. Let us look at reality. The population is only 280,000 people and just based on statistics you can only have so many smart people or even ambitious people who want to be brain surgeons. Then we have an education system that silos off 80% of students using the 11 plus system into a life of low income jobs. Barbados had to call 112 health care professionals to help with Covid, and this is since May. We all know that be they a white or black Bajan Middle/upper income earning familty, all of them fly north to Miami to get their hear surgeries, pacemakers, cataracts, ACL reconstruction, hip replacements and the such. So when local people are unwilling to use the local health system, who do you expect to entice here for a “cheap” surgery. A Brazilian who can afford to fly to Bridgetown to get a hip replacement in your hypothesis, can definitely afford to fly to Miami as well and do it there.

    Unless Barbados opens up immigration massively to educated persons and creates incentives for an American or Canadian hip Specialist to open a clinic here, there is not enough local talent not to mention enough local marketing savvy and probably not enough local customers to justify a large investment in such clinics. I am not saying it cannot be done, but it is a massive undertaking that has a small chance of success.

    Focus on what you can do best, perfect weather and a very safe reputation for crime and violence. Focus on vacation stays, I don’t understand the shame that some people have for this. Look at Dubai, a tourism cluster/hub and an economy that is the envy of the world.

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  • And Barbados is working to make sure we are not overrun with COVID-19 infections to shatter the perception of welcome stamp nomads you have defended.

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  • @ Vincent Codrington January 28, 2021 8:23 AM
    “Another quarterly report that should elicit no surprises. It fairly reflects what is happening on the ground. The decline of 18% of GDP may be a bit generous ,but choice of base is subjective.
    The decline of 18% of GDP may be a bit generous ,but choice of base is subjective.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Don’t you think the policy-makers in the public sector and decision-makers in the private sector ought to be made aware of and be ‘sensitized to the ‘enormous’ impact such a massive decline (18 %, Est.) in GDP would have on the country’s employment/unemployment situation and the consequential negative multiplier economic effects and potential social fallout?

    If the country can be told about its so-called healthy foreign reserves position- albeit borrowed and not previously earned- why not a summarized statistic in % form on the employment/unemployment situation in the same country with its far-reaching implications for production and productivity; all key elements in the country’s capacity to earn foreign exchange?

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  • @David I don’t know where you all believe people will not come here if there are many “cases”. You know I am from Canada or I believe I have mentioned it. Nobody gives a crap about cases. People are concerned about deaths and ICU capacity in long term care homes and people over the age of 80+ but this conception that people are scared to go out because of “cases” is pure nonsense. Costco and Walmart are packed in Canada, schools open in all provinces, people going about and doing whatever they can do.
    if people were scared of cases, then why does Jamaica receive 50 international flights a day, why does Aruba receive 16-21 flights daily. Why does Cancun receive 70-105 and Costa Rica 8 flights. Florida is literally receiving 200 thousand visits daily and the economy has bounced back to 6% unemployment and growth.
    It is only Bajans or to be more exact the politicians here who keep spewing this nonsense about “cases” and that people want to be safe or go to a safe place. its time to open your eyes to the world, a vast majority of people are over the casedemic, they are travelling wherever they can.
    The rest of the world has wrestled their heads around the casedemic, the common person in the EU and North america knows that is just a number that means absolutely nothing.
    So while you or the politicians now try to do a two week lockdown to get cases down to 4-8 a day or even none, Guess what, no one outside of Barbados will give a damn and they will be going to all the places mentioned above.

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  • We are starting to record deaths more aggressively than in previous months.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Ricardo January 28, 2021 12:04 PM
    “I know over 20 welcome stamp families. NOT a one came here to feel “safe”. All of them came here because in their home states or provinces face to face schools were closed…”
    ++++++++++++++++
    I’m the instigator who gave the government the idea for the Welcome Stamp and through my business at https://remoteworkbarbados.com I am acquainted with a somewhat larger sample of Welcome Stamp households amounting to hundreds of households. You are mistaken to dismiss the notion that feeling “safe” was part of their motivation for coming here. The substantial majority of Welcome Stamp visa holders have no children with them, so the fact that face to face schools were closed in their home jurisdiction played no role in the decision making of this majority.

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  • We are starting to record deaths more aggressively than in previous months…..(Quote)

    Plse explain.

    Liked by 1 person

  • We want to have our cake and eat it too, Gov’ts the world over are facing the same conundrum, do they shut down or not? Shutdowns work and partial shutdowns work partially, I equate the latter to a car with half inflated tyres, it will get you where you want to go but the risk is that all the tyres may become fully deflated before you get there and leave you stranded at the side of the road. The evidence seems to indicate that full shutdowns for a period arrests the spread of the virus (see Wuhan) whereas partial shutdowns appear to curtail it somewhat and provides little nuggets of success but the light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train approaching at full speed.

    The question are we prepared to try to keep the economy afloat at the expense of some lives or are we ready to put lives ahead of the economy in the expectation that short time pain leads to long term gain.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hal AustinJanuary 28, 2021 1:20 PM

    We are starting to record deaths more aggressively than in previous months…..(Quote)

    Plse explain.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I believe he may mean “we are beginning to classify deaths more aggressively”!!

    The last COVID death occurring on April 2020 was looking bad for a GOB who wants to shutdown everything, left right and centre.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Since I pointed out the fact that our last COVID classified death was 20 April 2020, we have had another 4 COVID classified deaths, three of them over 80 and one over 90.

    One of them was 48 and the paper reports she had health issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David BU

    Be very careful.

    Remember, bullying is addictive….. and, the perpetrator must always find a victim, even despite whatever bogus reasons or excuses he/she may provide to justify his/her actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hope Govt has a plan B when those nomads decided it was no longer safe to stay in Barbados and demand refunds on a premise that Govt had promised them a safe haven when relocating to Barbados
    All well remember that Mia somewhat made that pitch as a part of the Welcome Stamp initiative to boost numbers for the Stamp as an encouragement for people to apply

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  • @ Miller January 28, 2021 12:13 PM

    Since our gross national product per capita without tourists is at the average African level, we have to adjust wages and pensions as a matter of course. Either via “currency optimization” or via government wage cuts. We cannot lie on our lazy skin for two years and then act as if nothing had happened.

    Our outspoken senator, for example, is a real investor bugbear here. He keeps calling for wage increases and hazard pay, even though the state and private companies are on the brink of bankruptcy. What a disconnect from reality.

    Fortunately, we have a Supreme Leader who knows reality better.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Can anyone recall what the debt to GDP was in May 2018?

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  • Hey @PLT yes I know you are part of WStamp and I am not in any way crapping on the idea. It has merits. But it is no silver bullet to changing the entire structure of the Bajan economy.
    My point has been that people be they families or the 4 software engineers I know living in a house down the road all came here for reasons that had nothing to do with this concept of safety from the “dreaded” covid.
    The families are here for a better year for their kids, the software engineers were working from home anyway so they came to work in the sun for a year or in fact 9 months. Maybe a super small 0.1% of the stampers came here because they thought Barbados was some zero covid haven and they were scared of catching a cold virus. However 99.9% are here for an adventure
    I do have one question for you. Does anyone really know how many WS people are here. About a month ago the PM had a free meat and great dinner at Illaro court that every WS person/group/family received an invitation to. I know for a fact 75 people showed up, not 75 WS applicants but 75 people, three of them were my friends, families consisting of 4 people thus 12 people but 3 WS applicants. I find it hard to believe the government claiming 1000 or more WS applications were approved and basically 30 at most show up to a free dinner at Illaro court.
    As mentioned I shall write a more robust analysis and hope it gets printed by David.
    Part of analysis will be that not a single one of the 20 family units I know and the 4 software engineers plan on staying after this one year. A few reasons abound but the major one goes back to the point, they all decided to take a year of adventure in Barbados because they had the opportunity. Unfortunately (as I live here and love it) none see enough benefit to walk away from their life in Pittsburgh or Manchester or Austin to stay here again.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Angela no one will be asking for refunds. 95% knew they were coming for a year max.
    Also all are paying 3-10k a month USD in rent just to live here, the 3k fee they paid is in a sense irrelevant to them.
    Mind you when I tell them that they could have come legally for 6 months and then for $150 renewed a tourist visa for another 6 months most did feel ripped off that government asked for 3k for basically a 1 year tourist visa.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @sargeant regarding lockdowns. There is no short term pain resulting in long term gain. First of all lockdown didn’t exist before the communists in China did it as a show in wuhan for the West.
    The poster children in the west are Australia and New Zealand, similar only as islands to BiM. Both of them have zero covid, but gues what both have had 5% contraction in economy with Australia having first recession in 25 years. Both have also decided to torch their tourism industries. Both increased unemployment by 4% points…..unlike Barbados they have large populations and diversified economies and have decided to destroy a sector of economy all in the name of having less people catch a cold.
    All lockdowns are useless endeavors and that’s why they were never done in history.
    Barbados should be a real leader and stay open and invite tourists and handle the health aspect with focused effort.
    It sounds callous to some but the 91 and 84 and 83 year olds that died this week were all dying, they were all ill. Neither was an extra or unexpected death. Guess what in Australia and New Zealand 90 year olds with terminal cancer are still dying today.
    There is no gain of any kind from either a short, medium or long term lockdown. It’s a Lose situation. The only gain is from acting rational and managing the economy and having health care ready for the possibility of 20-50 people needing intensive care; and Barbados has this

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    Hi Ricardo,
    You are correct that a covid “safe” environment was only a minor factor in Welcome Stamp visa application motivation.
    The Illaro Court affair was an invitation only exercise with the invitations issued by the Welcome Stamp desk at BTMI. No, I was not invited. In fact I am not “part of WStamp” in any official way; I’m just trying to do my bit to rescue the Bajan economy.
    I do not know exactly how many Welcome Stamp visitors are on island at the moment. The BTMI Welcome Stamp desk does have this information, but they have not published it.
    I’d love to have the discussion with you about whether this can be a “silver bullet to changing the entire structure of the Bajan economy.” I’m not a believer in silver bullets or any other kind of magic myself, but I my calculations indicate that we can build the remote work sector to over $1 billion USD in FX earnings for Barbados within a 5 year timeframe given the right policy.

    Like

  • @plt
    If I get down to writing my thoughts on welcome stamp and send them to David then you will see thoughts.
    I know you are not with government but have been proponent and have the website to aid ws people.
    I think 1b in foreign exchange earnings would be very ambitious. There is a place for ws. But it has to be implemented better by government and offer some type of value rather than just being a 1 year tourist visa.
    For example get the WS and immediately get a bank account via a credit union of fccibc or scotiabank or whoever, have the bank account application and approval and signing off and even account setup one in all with the stamp.
    We all know how hard it is to bank in Barbados, facilitating an account would be real added value, and I think the local credit unions especially would appreciate hard currency money coming in from their new international customer

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @ Ricardo
    You are correct that lockdowns of the type that we have in Barbados are unproven as a strategy to minimise economic impact from the pandemic. A Wuhan style lockdown 76 days long with armed guards is proven to interrupt pandemic contagion, but that is not what Barbados is going to do.
    However, it is simplistic to assume that by avoiding lockdown you reduce economic damage. For example, Sweden, which avoided a lockdown during the height of the pandemic’s first wave, saw its economy shrink 8.6% in the April-to-June period from the previous three months. Its neighbour Denmark, which locked down aggressively in the same time frame, had far fewer cases and a smaller death toll per unit of population, but it also saw it’s economy suffer LESS damage than Sweden’s did.

    Like

  • Hal it was about 125 percent

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  • @ Angela
    Thanks.

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  • @Ricardo
    New Zealand and Australia are prime examples of short term pain but the US went about lock downs haphazardly and its economy shrunk by 3.5%, the worst since WW11. The US sacrificed half a million citizens in keeping the economy afloat and it still went into the toilet.

    NZ and Australia valued lives over their economy

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/01/28/gdp-2020-economy-recession/

    Liked by 1 person

  • Just saying that the commercialization of the Welcome Stamp had a heavy pushed relating to safety for the nomads and safety can be used as a legal argument to retrieve a refund seeing now that circumstances have changed
    As Mia said in one of her PR conferences to defend visitors response and their actions ” people want to be satisfied”

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Hal & @angela cox
    The 125% debt to GDP ratio quoted for 2018 is for the end of that year, not May 2018. The debt to GDP ratio at the end of 2017 was about 158%.

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    angela cox January 28, 2021 3:05 PM
    “…safety can be used as a legal argument to retrieve a refund seeing now that circumstances have changed…”
    ++++++++++++++
    Here are the relative statistics for COVID-19 for Barbados and our major source markets”
    USA ———- cases/million Pop. 78,917 — deaths/million Pop. 1,327
    UK ———– cases/million Pop. 54,981 — deaths/million Pop. 1,515
    Barbados — cases/million Pop. 5,018 — deaths/million Pop. 38

    So you can clearly see that Barbados is doing at least 10 times better than the USA or UK, and by some measures up to 50 times better. Anyone who brought a court case based on this publicly available data must really like to waste their money.

    Liked by 1 person

  • PTL
    Words can be translated into legal arguments to give full effect or to sway
    The words govt chose were those meant to persuade people living in the outside world during a heightened time of COVID to come to a COVID free environment

    Like

  • RIC

    if so many people are not scared of covid / travelling and would bring Barbados tourism back then how do you explain the fall in air travel in the usa?

    https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput

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  • Ric

    its ok to say jamaica etc get x amount of flights daily but how many passengers are on board?
    also compare the number of flights barbados was receiving before the second lock down ato those before the first lockdown. Your figures may be a bit misleading

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  • Well the report is what we expected although the 18% sounds a bit optimistic based on all we know. Of course it depends on the formulas used for tabulation.

    What I will say is brace for the first quarter of 2021 report. I will state here that this quarter will show the largest comparative percentage drop in economic activity on record. David kindly commit this to BU Hansard please so that I can refer to it in June.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A
    very smart

    Liked by 1 person

  • “In an environment where a new way of thinking is required it is hard for many to unfreeze traditional learning.”

    @ David

    We are in the Aquarian Age with the destiny of humanity being the revelation of truth and the expansion of consciousness, and that some people will experience mental enlightenment in advance of others and therefore be recognised as the new leaders in the world

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    What is your position regarding the lack of disclosure of unemployment statistics of recent?

    Like

  • From Marla D
    “As is often the case, it is those who can most afford to hold strain, that are putting pressure on the powers that be to overreach.”
    @Blogmaster
    I see she is now on the GEL Board.

    Like

  • @ David.

    To be honest that doesn’t bother me too much and I will tell you why. With the hotel sector only barely existing one would expect unemployment to be way up. What i am having a problem with is how in light of a barely noticeable tourist market this year, we could only be down 18% in the economy. In other words if tourism has been decimated and that sector is say conservatively 60% of our economy, then are you saying the other sectors that make up the remaining 40% were in fact not affected or even up?

    As i said the real blow will come when the first quarter of the 2021 report comes in.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @NO

    Good for her. GEL people must have an eye for quality.

    Like

  • @John A

    Probably what the economists refer to as a lag indicator. What can one say.

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  • @ David

    That and we have to also factor in that we will lose say $50M in economic activity over the lockdown period too.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A

    The answer is the same as to why you are saying the 1Q this year will be the worst.
    The tourism in Q1 2020 was normal. after q1 the tourism activity usually decline substantially. we had a little pop in dec that may have help a little.

    i did not have time to review the final report as yet

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  • when u add 2001 q1 to 2020 q2,3, and 4, then you will have a full year effect of covid on the economy.

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  • @john2
    You must be having fun watching these Reddit folks play the options into the shorts.

    Like

  • NO

    I do not follow Reddit. i am too busy doing my own, work and BU. just following the markets its crazy on those few stock.
    you still should learn options. my total trades for the year so far are up 70+% (i trade but not day trade)

    Like

  • @Ricardo January 28, 2021 12:28 PM @David I don’t know where you all believe people will not come here if there are many “cases”. You know I am from Canada or I believe I have mentioned it. Nobody gives a crap about cases. People are concerned about deaths and ICU capacity in long term care homes and people over the age of 80+ but this conception that people are scared to go out because of “cases” is pure nonsense. Costco and Walmart are packed in Canada, schools open in all provinces.

    Schools in four other Ontario regions will be returning to in-person learning next week, the government confirms.

    In a statement released Thursday morning, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that kids within Ottawa, Middlesex-London, and Southwestern and Eastern Ontario’s public health units will return to the classroom on Monday.

    “On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, with the support of the local Medical Officers of Health, and with the introduction of additional layers of protection, 280,000 students in four public health regions will return to class on Monday, February 1,” Lecce said.

    Here is a list of school boards scheduled to reopen on Feb. 1:

    • Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario

    • Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

    • Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien

    • Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

    • London District Catholic School Board

    • Ottawa Catholic District School Board

    • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

    • Thames Valley District School Board

    • Upper Canada District School Board

    According to the province, parents with children in the following school boards should double check with their local public health units about their status:

    • Conseil scolaire catholique Providence

    • Conseil scolaire Viamonde

    Source: https://toronto.ctvnews.ca
    Published Thursday, January 28, 2021 11:26AM EST

    Like

  • Dukharan backs Central Bank’s tech, green energy thrust call – Dukharan backs Central Bank’s tech, green energy thrust call: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/01/28/dukharan-backs-central-banks-tech-green-energy-thrust-call/

    Like

  • Caribbean foreign trade hit a new low – Caribbean foreign trade hit a new low: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/01/28/caribbean-foreign-trade-hit-a-new-low/

    Like

  • I think the AGM is later today, so we’ll hear how MD’s example of ‘pivoting’ has occurred within GEL. What I read, was one big failure in a recent investment, another with hope and turning the bend (cocoa), another still getting going (oil services Guyana) ,continued diversification in their core catering business to allay some of the obvious losses (airlines), and a big chunk of profits coming from food and distribution which “were” their core businesses for years. Tried to grasp their severance costs, well buried, seemed like +/- $30M?

    Like

  • GEL in the opinion of the blogmaster took too long to restructure the business. Hopefully the balance sheet is strong enough to withstand the precipitous decline in the airline sector.

    Like

  • Hey all looks like the largest 1st world to 3rd world nation is going to bail out Caricom regarding vaccines. By the way government should have offered to pay $10 a dose to Astra or India months ago and these fearful Barbados politicians who want to ruin the economy to “save the life” of a 80 year old with cancer could be sooner out of the hole they are digging for themselves
    THE ONLY QUESTION WILL BE HOW MANY OF THE 500K DOSES FOR CARICOM THAT MAY BE COMING WILL COME TO LITTLE OL’ BIM
    India has so far exported millions of the domestically-manufactured COVID vaccine to countries in its neighbourhood.

    “From 20 January 2021 onwards, we have gifted over 55 lakh (5.5 million) doses of vaccines to our neighbouring countries and in our extended neighbourhood – Bhutan (150,000), Maldives (100,000), Nepal (1 million), Bangladesh (2 million), Myanmar (1.5 million), Mauritius (100,000), Seychelles (50,000), Sri Lanka (500,000) and Bahrain (100,000). These supplies are based on requests from these countries”, India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at his weekly briefing on Thursday.
    “Over the next few days, we plan to gift further quantities to Oman (100,000), CARICOM countries (500,000), Nicaragua (200,000) and Pacific Island states (200,000)”, the Indian official informed mediapersons.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Covid vaccine: Single dose Covid vaccine 66% effective

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55857530

    Like

  • I thought this stream was on the central bank report? Or is it also on CoVid? I wonder if @CCC and @MARIPOSA were suspended for vindictive reasons or simply fore posting in the wrong stream.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @Hal Austin at 9:58 AM
    It is difficult for us with analytical minds to separate the impact of COVID 19 on the economy from a discussion on the CBB report on the economy of Barbados. We should also avoid indulging in hair brain schemes that address tthe short term impact of COVID and ignore the long term impact of the newly emerging international economic order.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU
    Crises ,including pandemics, result in significant changes. Perhaps we should spend some time focusing on these. Traditional approaches seldom measure up.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Vincent

    The efficacy of a new vaccine? Of course we should discuss long CoVid and its likely impact on the Barbados economy.
    A short-term report on the economy by the central bank is not the kind of discussion we are looking for, those of us with analytical or hysterical minds. We want a grown up discussion. The central bank is a meaningless ritual.
    The report has been so irrelevant many serious people have avoided making a contribution to the discussion. I do not trust the figures, the word play and the mantras about foreign reserves and manufactured unemployment figures. It does not advance our collective knowledge.
    Let us take a recent and simple example, when the president announced the lockdown, which she called a pause. Was that not a good time to talk about the new green deal, by banning all non-emergency and public transport vehicles from the roads?
    Simple. And that two week break would have had a short impact on the country’s flora and fauna, no doubt. In Europe this was exactly the case. In London, during the first lockdown, everyone noticed the changes, from birdsong, to wild animals including foxes.
    Before the lockdown, the emphasis on tourism and propping up the badly managed hotel sector would not have dominated policy as it has.
    I am sure you have been reading up on de-growth, one of the fastest growing theories of economics. As to CoVid, how much have you learnt from the flood of press briefings we have been getting?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Ricardo

    The population of CARICOM is about 15m, is that correct? If so, what is the ratio of 500000:15000000? I also ask again, although India produces 60 per cent of the world’s generic drugs, it has two CoVid vaccines, has either of them been approved by the WHO?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal Austin at 12 :10 PM
    Not much to disagree with in the cited intervention. Hence the suggestion for a shift in approaches to the issues consequential to COVID 19 epidemic. And yes. Early in these discussions I had expressed the view that it was asinine to comment on economic growth and employment when COVID and the following and preceding policy measures slammed these two indicators into reverse gear.

    Like

  • Most flights cancelled. COVID19 solved. No forex coming in. Time to activate my great STARVE plan.

    Like

  • @ David

    That one jab claim of 66% J+j made was based on the initial variant remember that. They have not tested against the UK variant or SA variant or at least they have not reported on it.

    Also Maderna is now talking about having to develop a booster 3rd dose shot as well for the new variants. The vaccine will not be the saviour many think. It will help but the masks and distancing will have to be the answer now.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Let us agree this virus and its many variants will be with us for the foreseeable future. We have to be smart as we calibrate our way of life to coexist with it.

    Like

  • @David

    So what you saying then is it might be time to diversify the economy away from tourism dependancy or you feel we should wait another six months and see what happen? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  • Covid 19 may yet force the kind of thinking required to ensure structural changes take place to the economy.

    Like

  • Covid 19 may yet force the kind of thinking required to ensure structural changes take place to the economy.

    No it won’t.

    Not a scintilla of evidence to suggest that this has or will ever happen. Over a year since the emergence of Sars Cov2 and nothing but guess work and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Dullard

    You are absolutely right. At the end of the day, whichever government we have, it will still be tourism and the same old rickety thinking that now passes as cutting edge.
    There is a fly in the ointment – the Chinese. The future may well be the New Barbadians fighting the Chinese for control.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Dullard

    You are absolutely right. All that will happen, once we have conquered CoVid, will be a return to the same old boring orthodoxy, with the same lame people repeating the same old things, and we will treat them as if they were new ideas.
    Life will continue on merry old Barbados. A rum and coke, a cheap laugh, a bank loan and all is right in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal

    I hear you but I genuinely don’t see how goverment can bank on tourism going forward. That would be like building back in a flooded area and hoping the rain don’t fall again.

    We must diversify now and stop wasting time reminiscing on the good old days of tourism, when we had 3 jolly Rogers and hundreds of mini mokes on the road. Dem days gone!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David
    The central bank merely regurgitated what the consultant, Dr. Greenidge said forty eight hours before.
    It seems that BOSS and BEST have not performed as expected. In short , current economic remedies need to be revisited.
    We now have Professor Howard opposing a total shut down. Jeremy Stevens believes the economy will lose nearly three times more than the PM has predicted and this was before promised compensation to small businesses etc.
    It is therefore very clear that our resources should now be placed into fighting COVID. The problem here is that the IMF had stated that we would have seen the full benefits of the program by 2032.
    With the current set backs , as a result of COVID, we could be looking at another ten years or more being added to 2032. This means that we have no choice other than to start restructuring our education system and economy with haste. At least we would begin to act ourselves out of the crisis rather than try to talk ourselves to higher ground.
    Should we fail to act, the economy would be in the doldrums beyond 2045-50 and this would make paupers of the next two or three generations.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ William Skinner January 29, 2021 8:10 PM

    “Should we fail to act, the economy would be in the doldrums beyond 2045-50 and this would make paupers of the next two or three generations.”

    Since it is impossible to diversify our economy we have to throw off ballast: Lower wages to increase competitiveness, lower income tax, cut social welfare and mass emigration.

    We have no other choice.

    Like

  • About 5 years ago guyana was one of the paupers of the caribbean. By 2050 there will still be some paupers in guyana.

    Like

  • Bajans may have to emigrate to guyana to seek better economic oportunity. one caribbean right @ WS

    Like

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