Review of Barbados Economy in 2021

Governor of the Central Bank Cleveston Haynes delivered his review of the economy for the year just gone. He was as expected optimistic about prospects for improvement. However, underpinning his optimism was his assumption the rebound of the economy will be based on TOURISM. The blogmaster does not need to expand on what this means.

68 comments

  • Governor upbeat

    Central Bank boss however wants less reliance on tourism
    CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR Cleviston Haynes is confident that a strong tourism rebound, including an influx of English cricket fans, and expanded construction activity, can drive Barbados towards double-digit economic growth this year.
    However, the economist is not prepared to wager that the economy will grow by the “best case” forecast scenario of 14.2 per cent, stressing that 2022 outcomes will be heavily influenced by Barbados’ continued vulnerability to external shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic and high commodity prices.
    Haynes is also keen for the country to accelerate its diversification from current tourism industry overreliance, especially through agriculture, renewable energy and other sectors with the potential to earn high foreign exchange.
    First press conference
    He gave these assessments yesterday during the Central Bank’s first press conference for the year, during which he reported that the economy grew by 1.4 per cent last year. It was helped by a tourismled 11.5 per cent expansion between October and December.
    “For the second successive year, COVID-19 tested the Barbadian economy’s resilience to extreme shocks,” he reported.
    “Industrialised economies rebounded strongly from the 2020 economic decline but the persistence of the virus, with its rapidly emerging variants and its after-effects on the global supply chain, dampened domestic economic activity, contributed to higher inflation and shaped the direction of public policy.
    “The bank estimates that the economy registered mild growth in 2021 as new waves of infections at home and abroad slowed the recovery of the tourism sector and kept output well below prepandemic levels,” he added.
    He said the good news for tourism was that “long-stay tourist arrivals in December were at their post-COVID peak, reaching 47 per cent of the corresponding prepandemic level of 2019, as the relaxation of global travel restrictions, the phased reduction in health protocols and pent-up demand contributed to a rebound in international travel”.
    With visitors from the United Kingdom and United States accounting for 74 per cent of arrivals, the Governor is banking on a further boost from the English cricket tour this month and in March.
    “Clearly with the stadium only at half capacity it’s not as much as it ordinarily would be for an English tour, but I think we are very hopeful for the Test match that there will also be another set of English tourists,” he said.
    “So in essence we have got two bites of the cherry – another set of English tourists who come to watch that [Test] match – and I am told the numbers could be as much as 5 000 persons for the match in March.
    “So I think that this will have a positive impact on our tourism because on the one hand, it fills rooms but when they come they spend. Therefore our small business sector benefits from their presence and I can’t quantify for you the exact number but I think having them here contributes towards the earnings of foreign exchange.”
    Range of forecast
    Haynes said the Central Bank had a range of economic forecast scenarios that pointed to double digit economic growth for Barbados this year, but stressed this was dependent on everything going “perfectly well”.
    “There are scenarios for a strong rebound in tourism, there are scenarios for a strong pick-up in construction activity, and you could get both of those happening together. And then there are scenarios where you only get a strong pick-up in tourism but we are unable to implement at a fast enough pace our investment programme,” he explained.
    “The point that we want to make is that in this particular environment, because there are so many unknowns, because we are recovering from such a large fall-off in economic activity in 2020 and very modest increase in 2021, the actual forecasting has some fairly wide ranges because we are so dependent on tourism as our major economic activity.”
    His hope is that efforts to diversify the economy will make progress this year.
    “A lot of this obviously will have to be private sector driven. What we have to do, in my view, is that we have to go on to strengthen our agricultural sector. We want to be able to get new investments into the country that build on the knowledge and the skills of our citizens,” Haynes said.

    Source: Nation

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  • Return to IMF likely, says Howard
    Too early to say, counters Greenidge

    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY
    colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    BARBADIANS ARE BEING TOLD to brace for a second trip to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the Mia Amor Mottley administration when the clock runs down on the Extended Fund Facility later this year.
    Professor Emeritus in economics at the University of the West Indies Michael Howard, speaking to the DAILY NATION on Tuesday prior to yesterday’s report on the economy by Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes, said Government will have little choice but to continue to borrow from the IMF in order to implement any meaningful programme of stabilisation and growth.
    However, Government’s Senior Economic Advisor Dr Kevin Greenidge is insisting that it is too early for such a determination.
    Howard contended that even if the tourism sector was back to its glory days and firing on all cylinders, it was still not likely to generate the foreign exchange needed for sustained growth.
    “We have to go back to the IMF because I do not think the economy on its own could generate enough revenue to set us on a sustaining development path.
    “It is clear to me that we still have to borrow, and borrow enough money to sustain the foreign reserves because if we don’t have enough foreign exchange, we cannot pursue growth.”
    He added: “Even when tourism was doing well, our foreign exchange was not commensurate with the numbers because of the all-inclusive nature of tourism. So, we have to generate foreign exchange and we still will have to continue some level of borrowing.” In response, Greenidge said many factors will have to be considered before Government makes any decision on the IMF.
    “Professor Howard is entitled to his views [but] we have to wait until the programme comes to an end . . . . We have to wait until the end-of-March data comes in and see how the economy performs, have a view on macro modelling and what the outlook would be, and then the decisions would be likely made at that time,” he said.
    “The majority of countries go for successive programmes, especially when there are reforms to be continued, which is the case with the BERT [Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation] programme, as we still have a lot of work to be done which was halted for COVID-19. The BERT programme will have to continue in some form or fashion whether or
    not you go for IMF support.”
    However, Howard warned that Barbados could ill-afford a programme as ambitious as BERT, arguing that targets such as a six per cent surplus would stymie growth.
    “I don’t think that the Government has any other choice. I think that they have to enter a new arrangement with the IMF, but it has to be an arrangement that would give us some type of fiscal space to generate growth.
    “All we have been doing is borrowing money. We have not been raising a lot of revenue and I think that the IMF is going to be around in Barbados for some time,” he said.
    “The problem is that if we want to continue with the IMF, we might be asked to go back to the target of a six per cent surplus.
    “We have to decide whether we want to pursue a six per cent surplus, which might inhibit economic growth because it would mean that you would have to raise revenue or send home some people or reduce public sector expenditure. These are some of the tough choices that have to be made.”

    Source: Nation

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  • Stick with fiscal discipline, Governor advises

    BARBADOS CANNOT AFFORD to ditch fiscal discipline if Government opts out of another International Monetary Programme (IMF) arrangement when the current one expires at the end of September.
    Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes made this clear yesterday as he also welcomed the imminent introduction of a procedural fiscal rule to keep Government’s financial management in check.
    Speaking during a press conference to review Barbados’ economic performance in 2021 and give projections for this year, he said the Central Bank had preliminary discussions about the IMF programme, but “we have not yet sat down with the Minister of Finance to discuss in detail what we will do after the end of the programme”.
    He said it was important for Barbadians to understand “this is not about the IMF, this is about Barbados and putting the country on a sustainable path”.
    “Whether we do so within the framework of an IMF programme, of an IMFmonitored programme, or we go it alone, some of the prerequisites will remain,” he added.
    The Governor said for Government this was primarily about “being able to finance your activities such that even if you come out of an IMF programme, I don’t think that persons should believe that you will suddenly start to run large deficits again.
    “Because if you run large deficits you have to be able to finance them. What our recent past has told us is that as you run these deficits you need to borrow more and more. Your debt ratios therefore are going to go up, [and] that has implications for how markets respond to you,” he explained.
    “So while you may think
    that you want to run a five per cent primary deficit for example, if the markets are unwilling to finance you, then you get back into the situation that we were in before where we simply build arrears.”
    Haynes added: “So there has to be, IMF or no IMF, discipline in how we manage our fiscal affairs and we have to manage it in such a way that we provide that confidence both to domestic and external capital markets, that such funding as we need we will be able to get because…there will be need to borrow from time to time.”
    Asked if Barbados would have to continue “fiscal tightening” this year, including trying to achieve a six per cent primary surplus, the economist said: “Government has to now develop its budget for the coming fiscal year, [and] determine the size of the primary balance that it will want to target.
    “Tightening should not automatically mean that you have to increase your tax rates or reduce your labour component. I think those are the things that persons fear. Sometimes it does happen, but it is not an automatic feature once you get the economy into a growth mode.” ( SC)

    Source: Nation

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  • Haynes: Higher prices will be order of the year

    CONSUMERS will continue to face high prices this year, says Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes.
    With Barbados’ fuel import bill having increased by $175.2 million last year when compared with 2020, he said the higher energy cost was a major driver of inflation.
    Haynes said yesterday during his review of the economy’s performance last year that the global trend of rising inflation was reflected in domestic prices last year.
    “The retail price index at November was 4.6 per cent higher than at 2020 year-end, driven in large measure by higher import prices,” he reported.
    “Soaring international freight costs arising from disruptions in the global supply chain added to the hikes in energy and food prices caused by the revival of global economic activity. Domestic food prices were elevated mainly due to meats and vegetables.”
    The Governor also said “the domestic rise in prices was acutely felt in the price of gasoline, diesel and electricity, but continued discounting of clothing, footwear and furnishing and household equipment dampened the domestic inflationary pressures.
    “Given the fall in prices in the second half of 2020, the impact of rising prices on the overall price index was not evident until the second half of the year and the 12-month moving average measure of inflation rose to 3.2
    per cent only from 2.9 per cent a year earlier,” he added.
    Responding to questions during an online press conference, Haynes said the Central Bank’s assessment was that “prices will remain elevated” in Barbados.
    “As always, some prices will go up and some will come down, but I think on average prices will remain high,” he said.
    He said measures, including Government’s plan to keep freight costs at pre-COVID-19 levels, would help, but that this was “relatively small assistance”.
    Haynes added that inflation measurements showed that Barbadians paid more for transportation, electricity and food, which he linked to higher energy costs. ( SC)

    Source: Nation

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  • The “OFFICIAL” quarterly comic strip is out, once again as expected it’s the usual optimistic unsupported Disney ALL IS WELL, patient moved from death status to recovery in ICU. I do not understand how this gentlemen can sleep at night , well maybe he prescribes to the TRUMP self believing Lies philosophy. And it’s SAD to think Barbados claims to be getting above, above what is the question.

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  • Jamaica had larger COVID cases than Barbados
    Jamaica has recorded growth figures of 14.2 percent

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  • Always remember the Central Bank Governor is a creature of the Minister of Finance. Remember how we cussed Dr. Worrell ?
    We may not choose to cuss Mr. Haynes but it’s the same old, same old , until the Minister of Finance or Prime Minister is ready to let you go.
    Yep. The economy is going to get better or is actually going to get better. What else do we seriously expect any Governor of the Central Bank to say.?
    At least he did say prices will not come down. We already knew that; they were supposed to come down after the NSRL was removed that’s about three plus years ago.
    Oh well; how are you this morning, Dr. Worrell ?

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  • @ angela Cox
    Be careful with such comparisons. We have to take the size of the population of JA and other things into consideration. The JA dollar is Monopoly money when compared with our dollar.
    The IMF has been in JA. for over forty years.
    As recently as two or so years ago, primary schools in some parts of JA. were still using outdoor pit toilets.
    Rural JA is not near where we are although we have issues with water and so on. Basic electricity is still unavailable in some parts of rural JA. Our housing stock and public transportation are ahead as well.
    So saying JA economy grew by more than us must be put in context.
    BTW, if you were to read the comments of Haynes, Howard and Grenidge carefully you would discover that our economy isn’t rosy at all.
    Quite frankly, I haven’t heard any comprehensive statement on the economy from the Minister of Finance, for sometime. Her long silence is deafening to say the very least.
    Peace:

    Liked by 1 person

  • @William

    This is not a fair comment. DeLisle Worrell made controversial statements and decisions which immersed him controversy. Haynes continues to be circumspect in his pronouncements and actions.

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  • Apart from Caswell and Grenville, there are VERY few ‘men’ left in Barbados. Just a bunch of wussies who have to squeeze their legs together when faced with any challenge to avoid wetting themselves. How a so-called ‘leader’ can come each and every year with such BS and read it with a straight face baffles the bushman’s mind.
    Thank God we have some females who can stand in the breech,,,, Of course the price that we will pay for ’emotional leadership’ is quite another matter….
    But in ANY event…. our donkey is grass.

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  • It is his job Bush Tea, it is what economists do, project based on assumptions. Of course the quality of the assumptions if we used 2007 financial meltdown will open up that profession to attacks. We know your views about the discipline 😀.

    #economicsisnotascience

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  • @ Wily Coyote January 27, 2022 6:01 AM
    (Quote):
    The “OFFICIAL” quarterly comic strip is out, once again as expected it’s the usual optimistic unsupported Disney ALL IS WELL, patient moved from death status to recovery in ICU. I do not understand how this gentlemen can sleep at night , well maybe he prescribes to the TRUMP self believing Lies philosophy. And it’s SAD to think Barbados claims to be getting above, above what is the question.
    (Unquote).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s the best piece of comic relief for the year. It certainly outstrips MAM ‘alibi’ for calling snap general elections -right in the heart of a pandemic with the public health authorities being forced to struggle with a most infectious variant of Covid- and whose inevitable results only reinforced what was patently obvious.

    Maybe the Guv is merely the pharmacist filling the prescription of sugar-coated lies to sweeten the bitter medicine to be administered anytime after April fool’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Miller

    Give it time. Once the Senate is configured we will hear more.

    Will Mia part ways with the IMF?

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  • “Apart from Caswell and Grenville, there are VERY few ‘men’ left in Barbados. Just a bunch of wussies who have to squeeze their legs together when faced with any challenge to avoid wetting themselves. How a so-called ‘leader’ can come each and every year with such BS and read it with a straight face baffles the bushman’s mind.”

    its not leadership that is the problem
    but the level of thinking of everyone else
    that is more concerning
    Barbados need all 300,000ish to up their game

    Positive Thinking

    Liked by 1 person

  • “It certainly outstrips MAM ‘alibi’ for calling snap general elections -right in the heart of a pandemic with the public health authorities being forced to struggle with a most infectious variant of Covid- and whose inevitable results only reinforced what was patently obvious”

    Barbadsos (SOS)

    when the social media echo chamber chatter had just started up banging on about 2023 elections with partisan propaganda tropes and memes…Mia shot from her hips with the starter pistol calling “ready steady go” (bang!).. and they were off.. the sprint was over quicker than Jamaican Bolt.. and the Barbados title holder remained current champion.. easy as DO-RE-MI ABC 123

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  • Kiki
    Where have you ever heard of 300,000 sheep ‘upping their game’?
    Sheep are sheep.
    Their ONLY hope is to find good shepherd. Leadership is everything when dealing with sheep.
    Our system of political stupidity that requires the sheep to select ‘leaders’ based on their sheep-like qualities is our undoing.
    THAT is why we are doomed. …brass bowls leading brass bowls…

    @ David
    #economicsisshiite

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David January 27, 2022 8:04 AM
    “Give it time. Once the Senate is configured we will hear more.
    Will Mia part ways with the IMF?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Do you mean we should wait for the President’s Speech?

    Isn’t the HoA where the real action takes place when it comes to financial matters?

    How can MIA part ways with the IMF at this time?
    Can Hong Kong declare Independence from Beijing?

    Which other international loanshark can Barbados turn to in order to keep the game of imported conspicuous consumption going?

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  • “Where have you ever heard of 300,000 sheep ‘upping their game’?
    Sheep are sheep.
    Their ONLY hope is to find good shepherd. Leadership is everything when dealing with sheep.”

    it makes perfect sense for little lambs to follow the flock without questioning why but just doing it as it is in their best interest

    human adults must think for themselves instead of being followers

    human children have a growing consciousness and will automatically know what they should or should not be be doing instead of blindly following adults

    Liked by 2 people

  • “human adults must think for themselves instead of being followers”

    LOL ha ha ha oh Shiite!!! Murda!! Bushie belly…..!!!
    You obviously do not grasp the concept of ‘brass bowls’…..
    Bushie out….

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  • @Miller

    The IMF served its purpose to permit access to concessionary funding, see our foreign reserves. What is required is for some semblance of fiscal discipline handling government’s finances. Do we need the IMF to do what we know is the correct thing to do?

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  • @Bush Tea

    Going back to your reference to Grenville and Caswell, there is a point to consider. Do you recall the view it is sometimes better to force change from within? The Trojan approach?

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  • If we knew the correct thing to do and how to do it, we would be lending the IMF money.
    Boss…
    We DO NOT know what we must do, and we are INCAPABLE of even doing the little shiite things that we commit to doing … like a working justice system, a working sewerage system ….. steupssss or EVEN a basic way to pay drivers licenses.
    Face it boss
    We are talking about 300,000 clueless sheep led by a bunch of ‘politicians’ who are there because they can do no better by way of jobs but who are loved because they are so much like the sheep they lead

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bush Tea we have to believe. Life is a journey with wrong turns along the way. We have to continue to search for that light at the end of the tunnel. Yes there will be casualties along the way but we cannot give up!

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  • “Do you recall the view it is sometimes better to force change from within? The Trojan approach?”
    ~~~~~
    Those days are long gone.
    In order to gain admission ‘within’, one has to sell one’s soul to the ‘insiders’. Once admitted, one is then so COMPROMISED that you at best become a poppet (like a central bank governor) who must stand in public and recite embarrassingly idiotic speeches. or young KK who sounds more like a preprogrammed robot than a bright enquiring young adult.

    REAL leaders CANNOT and WILL NOT compromise their conscience…at ANY cost…. and so will not even pass the ‘admission’ stage.

    You EVER see Caswell admitted anywhere?
    His ass has be fired more times than Portville’s boiler.
    LOL ha ha ha

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  • Caswell and Grenville are outliers. Caswell is a disrupter and Grenville operates right of center.

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  • “Yes there will be casualties along the way but we cannot give up!”
    ~~~~~~
    …so who do you think will constitute those casualties Boss…?
    Not Brass bowls who keep making the same ‘mistakes’ along the way.?

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  • It that case they will be replaced, in the same way Bin Ladin and all the other so-called terrorists that rise up to replace and pursue what they believe to be just causes.

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  • Caswell and Grenville are ASSETS.
    However we judge them by SHEEP standards so it becomes clear why you think they are disruptive.
    So we have gone with the ‘good old Sheep leadership’ that is not disruptive or out of center….GREAT!!

    if you always do what you have always done…
    you will always get what you have always got…
    …except that ….three is no more rope.

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  • Bush Tea the blogmaster respects what both of them do. As you know both of them have received unfettered access to the BU platform years ago. That said people will behave based on how they have been educated. It will take time to unfreeze that mendicant mindset.

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  • @ David January 27, 2022 8:57 AM

    He who pays the forex-starving piper calls the tune.

    How else would the IMF recover (with interest) its shareholder funds invested in Bim unless it is present to dictate fiscal policy and direction?

    Hasn’t this promise to institute fiscal discipline been in the pipeline since December 2013?

    Has the level of transfers to the SOEs been significantly reduced as promised?

    Just look as the still obese cabinet with a new chief of staff and entourage of consultants and advisors (merely replicating the role of permanent secretaries and technical officers) and see if that is sending a genuine signal of fiscal responsibility?

    At least the sugar industry will be finally buried. Which set of investor with foreign money will be prepared to buy a rundown factory in an industry about to go under the weight of subsidies as demanded by the IMF?

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  • @Miller

    Would you expect the pandemic caused government’s finances stress because of pandemic spend? Let us be fair.

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  • “You obviously do not grasp the concept of ‘brass bowls’…..”

    Bajans are Humans not animals
    {defined as beasts of burden, bred in colonies, physically disciplined how to behave}

    The development of the Mind is the master key

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  • Our third IMF programme (CS loan with IMF clause) passed smoothly into the fourth IMF programme. The fifth programme will be based in the same way after the fourth programme expires. The fifth programme is already in the drawer.In other words, we will remain under IMF custody for at least 12 years, from 2013 to at least 2025.

    So we are not economically or financially viable as an island state. All we can realistically do is to unconditionally promote tourism.

    I therefore advise our honourable government to finally abolish the Corona tests for fully vaccinated persons on entry. We are a stronghold of Corona variants anyway. What should happen besides? Our government should therefore take the BAMP board and all other critical doctors into protective custody.

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  • @william skinner
    Your response to Ms. Cox is on point. Without the proper context numbers don’t mean anything.

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  • @ David January 27, 2022 9:44 AM

    Ok, fair comment.

    And the IMF has indeed taken that in account; hence the backing off position taken during 2020 and 2021.

    But 2022 is the year of make or break with MAM calling elections to ‘empower’ her administration to make serious corrective fiscal decisions.

    How then do you explain the indiscipline before the pandemic and going forward with plans to increase the politically-hired payroll?

    Remember the IMF is the bank of last resort; not a welfare agency for fiscally indiscipline members.

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  • “only about a quarter of the Treasury Notes has been taken up by individuals and financial institutions.”

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2022/01/27/slow-bond-take-up-central-bank-reports/

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  • @Hants

    This was predicted in this space.

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  • @David

    “Will Mia part ways with the IMF?”

    What are you doing, trying to out FUNNY the GOV. If MIA g kicks the IMF “OUT” she has to come up with some $3.5B to settle the account, well maybe, its doubtful the eastern Yellow Giant would cough up this amount of CASH or even be prepared to receive expropriated property in that amount.

    MIA has herself as the de-facto DICTATOR, however she has herself in a bit of a SPOT, THAT IS BETWEEN A ROCK and HARD PLACE and the Vaseline is running LOW.

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  • @Wily

    Prime Minister Mottley was elected a week ago by the people in an election deemed to be fair.

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  • @ David et al
    One word in the Governor’s report says it all: fraught.
    He said words to the effect that forecasting as he outlined in this environment is a “ fraught” exercise.
    It’s a word with a whole lot of synonyms.
    We did not elect : Grenidge , Haynes Howard or Robinson.
    It is time for the Minister of Finance to tell the country in detail ,and not sound bites to the party faithful ,the exact state of the economy and the detailed fixes she intends to implement now that she has been given the fresh mandate she asked for. That’s what is called leadership.
    Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Wily
    “The “OFFICIAL” quarterly comic strip is out”
    the accuracy of your humour was much appreciated.

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  • Even without COVID, forecasting tourism revenue is going to be tricky going forward. The baby boomers are getting old and no longer willing to take the 8 hour flight, we now have to depend on Gen X. Good luck with them, they are way less predictable than their parents, looking for value for their money and they want adventure.
    We could promote the NIS as the world’s only financial black hole and allow tourists to visit the singularity on Collymore Rock where they can throw money in and watch it be gobbled up.

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  • @Redguard

    Your comment would be very funny if it wasn’t serious.

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  • @ Redguard January 27, 2022 3:30 PM

    In science fiction, artificial black holes are used to generate energy, especially for engines for interstellar flight. So the NIS has enormous potential. The hole is so big, it should be enough for a hyperspace flight to the next galaxy and back within a week.

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  • Xxplosive debt
    2018 Barbados went to IMF as it couldn’t maintain debt repayments for Government Bonds
    2022 Barbados plans to leave IMF and restructure debt with some new Government Bonds

    Move
    Along

    There
    Is
    Nothing
    To
    See
    Here

    Xxplosive (Instrumental)

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  • Dr JR’s two +/- 45 sec soundbites need to come with lightning bolts.
    What a friend calls…blinding glimpses of the obvious.

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  • Wait Bush Tea where you now arise from? Just in time for another 30 to 0 thrashing of your dems.This talk of brassbowls coming from a man who big up Mr Thompson as a leader years ago with no evidence to back it up.It is simple brasdbowls or not the people have spoken and clearly they want nothing to do with the dems at this time.Imagine Mr Blackett talking about who should offer them senate seats when he should be grateful for the offer in my view.Tells me they need a proper leader.The grapes real sour for the dems both overseas and here.Everyyday they are on Brasstacks griping.It will not help them.Bottom line you all got your asses kicked.Deal with it.I gone.

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  • We need to hear more.

    NIS moving to statutory body

    By Colville Mounsey colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    The Mia Amor Mottley administration has approved a March 2021 request for the National Insurance Scheme to transition from central government to a statutory body.
    This was confirmed by Minister of Labour Colin Jordan, who told the Weekend Nation that he would be in a better position to release the details of the transition after he is briefed on what steps have been taken during the last three weeks, when the country was in election mode.
    “The short answer is yes, the transition was approved by Cabinet, but I will be in a position to give more details after I am briefed as to what was done in the last three weeks,” Jordan said.
    A source said that the decision was taken by the last Cabinet prior to the January 19 General Elections, raising questions as to what changes would take place at the state-owned social security system as a result of the development. This is the very question which the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is demanding answers to, making it clear that there must be full consultation before the entity moves forward with any transition.
    Acting General Secretary of the NUPW Richard Green, said that he had heard through unofficial channels that the transition was approved, but was awaiting the details. He said that he was concerned that the lack of information could lead to fear among the staff of the NIS, and he was therefore urging members not to jump to any conclusions until all of the facts come to light.
    “Just like with any transition the union would want as much information as possible and in a timely manner that there can be consultation on these things, well in advance of any proposed time for a transition. When these things happen and there is an absence of information, there is a lot of fear and workers want answers and this could lead to a lot of rumblings within the department. This was an issue that was on the table since last March and we have not heard anything officially as yet. What we want is full consultation on these matters,” Green said.
    The NUPW has voiced objections in the past to the move, but yesterday Green said that their mission at this time is to ensure that the workers are no worse off from when they were part of central Government.
    “The NUPW’s position is that if there is a transition, employees are treated no less favourably than their previous terms and conditions. As with any transition, we would be looking for an enhancement of the terms and conditions of employees as an incentive for them to transition to a new entity,” he said.
    Even though the NIS has a board, it is still operated by central Government and directly falls under the portfolio of the Minister of Finance. Last March, Chairman of the National Insurance Board (NIB), Leslie Haynes QC, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had thrown into sharp focus the need for a more efficient and unencumbered NIS.
    Haynes explained then that even though NIS has a board, the organisation was still required to go through the red tape of central government, a mode of operation which was not suited to responding to the urgency of the health crisis.

    Source: Nation News

    Liked by 1 person

  • Are to take these talking heads seriously?

    CTUSAB’s urgent call to new Govt

    The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) wants Government to resume meeting the Social Partnership as a matter of priority, and to address the possibility of the country further extending its loans programme under the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    In a press release issued by general secretary Dennis De Peiza, on post-General Elections expectations, he said it was important that Prime Minister Mia Mottley and her Barbados Labour Party administration, engaged the Social Partnership and other stakeholders to achieve a society which can enjoy a greater degree of inclusiveness.
    Further, De Peiza noted CTUSAB wanted the Government to pay attention to the structure and form of the Social Partnership, as was established under successive protocols.
    “It is the expectation of the Congress that Government will immediately get down to business of addressing the burning issues that include the restoration of the economy, employment creation, development of a new prices and incomes policy, and to commence and conclude the process of constitutional reform.”
    De Peiza said taking into consideration the recommendations coming out of Article IV Consultation of the IMF Country Report for Barbados, dated November 29, 2021, the sum total was that Barbados should resume a fiscal adjustment programme.
    “It is critical that Government commences discussions and consultations with the Social Partnership. Obviously, [with] intentions to implement the recommendations.
    CTUSAB contends that it is important to address the implications which a new or extended IMF loan will have for the country,” he said.
    The general secretary added that in the absence of an elected Opposition, the Congress was highly aware of the implications for the functioning of the Parliament of Barbados.
    “The Congress therefore calls for greater consultation with individual stakeholders and at the level of the Social Partnership. It is proposed that this could be best achieved through the process of tripartite consultation,” he said.
    De Peiza also offered congratulations to Mottley on “the unprecedented victory” in the January 19 general elections.
    The Congress also commended the effort of the Democratic Labour Party, the Alliance Party for Progress, Solutions Barbados, as well as the independent candidates who contested seats.
    (PR/RA)

    Source: Nation

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  • “Apart from Caswell and Grenville, there are VERY few ‘men’ left in Barbados”

    male privilege is a bit like white privilege

    ♂ male politicians can go bat shit crazy + circumvent law

    ♀ female politicians must behave to know their place

    Like

  • “We need to hear more”
    you like a lot of sport?
    One of the older manoeuvres known. Watch all the required reports disappear, with a single audit to transfer assets and liabilities. Who knows, the liabilities maybe “bonded” as well.
    The beneficiaries will be told, this is to ensure the ongoing well-being of the fund, so they will continue to receive their benefits.
    Likely with an injection of cash (or loans).
    Matter done.
    Widespread appeal and approval…the guvment lookin’ out fah we?

    Like

  • @NO

    Regardless we have no choice but to wait. It is what taxpayers have become good at doing.

    Like

  • “Barbadians must exercise personal responsibility for virus, says PM” (Barbados Today).

    Like Tron, our BU commentators should practice authentic interpretation of our leader’s will. The quote states that it is now up to each individual’s responsibility to protect ourselves from the virus.Our Supreme Leader will soon abolish the nonsensical, xenophobic restrictions on entry except for proof of vaccination. This is the only way to boost tourism.

    The leader’s will carries the force of law.

    Like

  • @David
    Do you?
    I have observed quite interestingly, changes which have occurred with the ‘virtual’ gatherings in so many areas.
    Participants are less constrained by the immediate social constructs, and their perceived potential repercussions.
    Comments like ‘you kan do dat’, which often reflects the social consequences, more than the relevance of the suggested action itself. One reason why those in control, have understandable concerns about ‘going virtual’.

    Like

  • The tourists are coming!

    Guests coming to B’dos ‘in droves’

    By Gercine Carter
    gercinecarter@nationnews.com

    Hoteliers are projecting a more optimistic outlook on the 2021 to 2022 winter tourism season as hotels across Barbados record high occupancies this month.
    It is a picture in contrast to that painted last year amid concerns about expected cancellations due to travel restrictions imposed in Barbados’ major source markets because of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and, in more recent times, the Omicron variant.
    A check with a cross section of hotels yesterday revealed that January occupancies have generally ranged between 70 and 90 per cent and even up to 100 per cent in one case. From the smaller hotels to the larger five-star luxury hotels, the story was the same.
    “We have done very well. It has been very positive and our occupancies will probably end up in the high 80s, low 90s,” said Wayne Capaldi, general manager of the 50-room luxury five-star Sandpiper boutique hotel on the West Coast. His observation also applied to sister hotel Coral Reef, which, like the Sandpiper, attracts a large British clientele.
    Capaldi said the occupancy levels were not surprising, since both the United Kingdom and Barbados had started to relax “a lot of the protocols” such as the testing requirement on entry into Barbados and the testing requirement on departure from Barbados back to the UK.
    “Since that was all dropped, the bookings became very strong,” Capaldi said, adding that February bookings were also “looking very strong”.
    Port St Charles Marina is also riding the wave of high occupancies, with general manager Stephen Austin reporting a 90 per cent average in January and “a very promising-looking February”.
    “We are doing really well,” Austin said. “Traditionally, after January 10, we normally have a dip but we have not seen that this year. There is a pent-up demand since many of these people have not travelled for two years. Some of them delayed vacation every year since COVID and now are able to come and enjoy what they booked two years ago.”
    Austin said the outlook was good, with cricket being a contributing factor.
    “It is very optimistic for the rest of the year. People book late for the summer but we do have some business and as time goes on it is getting better and better, so it is very optimistic for the rest of the year.”
    The Sun Group Hotels are also doing well.
    “We would have averaged about 65 per cent for all the hotels during January. But we lost some bookings with the whole uncertainty about Omicron affecting about 15 per cent of bookings,” managing director Roderick Weatherhead told the Saturday Sun. However, he anticipated occupancies “in the 70s and 80s” going forward as he noted February was looking “better than January”.
    “I would definitely mark about 75 per cent occupancy for the hotels – Sugar Cane Club, Savannah and Time Out in the Gap – which range between three and a half- and four-star level hotels.”
    The picture is also encouraging for some of the smaller hotels as Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) representative for The Intimate Hotels of Barbados, Mahmood Patel, said reports from members such as Dover Beach and
    Infinity-on-The Beach on the South Coast indicated a January that looks “pretty good” and a “fairly goodlooking” February with projected 50 and 60 per cent occupancies. He added that March was also looking good for the small hotels and suggested the positive outlook might be “cricket-driven”.
    General manager of Sugar Bay Hotel, Morgan Seale, said things had “improved dramatically” for that hotel and its sister property, Bougainvillea Hotel.
    “We have seen the UK removing restrictions. There is increased confidence in travel and we have seen a marked reduction in cancellations.”
    As a result, Seale said, both hotels had recorded “solid occupancies between the high 70s and low 80s” despite some cancellations in mid-January. However, he added that people were now rebooking and he was no longer seeing cancellations.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • They must be coming.
    Was told the GEL Chair ended the AGM saying Q1 2022 (nov-jan?) was the best in the company’s history.
    Given their company mix, only tourist arrivals/ travel could do that, unless they recorded “an extraordinary gain” on the sale of something.

    Like

  • GEL will welcome improved travel given its interest in catering to aircraft.

    Like

  • Based on elsewhere, where entities have pandemic adjusted costs, labour inputs and other, any sudden revenue rebound results in higher than previously experienced profits.

    Like

  • Branker: Private sector lifted by growth forecast

    By Colville Mounsey colvillemounsey@nationnews. com

    Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) president Anthony Branker says members are buoyed by last week’s report of Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes that the country is trending towards double-digit economic growth this year.
    However, he said Government would have to make some decisions on controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and relaxing travel restrictions for a faster recovery of the bread-andbutter tourism sector to facilitate this growth.
    He added other priorities would be measures to address the ease of doing business, and even more pressing, the escalating cost of living linked to supply chain challenges and rising freight cost caused by the pandemic.
    “Encouraging signs of growth in the last quarter of 2021 and all signs point to this continuing into the first quarter of 2022, helped by cricket tours as well as a robust real estate market. We agree the growth is fragile however and very susceptible to external shocks such as geopolitical issues with Russia and further lockdowns and travel restrictions,” said Branker.
    The BCCI president said his membership was cautiously optimistic of continued recovery and was, therefore, committed to partnering with the public sector to make it happen.
    “Critical to fuelling and sustaining our recovery is a focus on protecting and accelerating the pace of recovery in tourism, which is inter-related with control of the pandemic and easing of travel restrictions; dealing with supply chain disruptions and inflation due to escalating freight costs and commodity prices; execution of largescale private sector capital
    projects; and continued pace of structural changes to facilitate improvement in ease of doing business.”
    In his report last Wednesday, Haynes said he was confident that a strong tourism rebound, including an influx of English cricket fans and expanded construction activity, could drive Barbados towards doubledigit economic growth this year.
    However, the economist was not prepared to wager that the economy would grow by the “best-case” forecast scenario of 14.2 per cent, stressing that 2022 outcomes would be heavily influenced by Barbados’ continued vulnerability to external shocks, including the pandemic and high commodity prices.


    Source: Nation

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  • Earning foreign exchange ‘must top priority list’

    By Tony Best

    Hit by the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its economy but buoyed by the results of a smoothly conducted free and fair election, the newly re-elected Barbados Government should move efficiently in three broad areas that can trigger an economic turnaround.
    And those priorities range from boosting foreign exchange earnings and undertaking fiscally stabilising measures that demonstrate competence in governance to creating hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs, led by a confident private sector.
    That bit of advice, articulated in an upbeat, can-do spirit came from Winston Cox, a former Governor of Barbados’ Central Bank who told the Sunday Sun during a telephone interview from his home in Canada that Barbados had successfully braved somewhat similar tough economic storms before and can do so again.
    “We have always found ways to survive” serious economic challenges, including the “unrelenting hostility” of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, the rich nations’ club in Paris, said Cox, a former member of the executive boards of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington.
    Money laundering
    “We have gained substantial (legal) victories in Canadian courts, which underlined the quality of our (offshore financial) regimes. We have also shown an ability to cooperate with United States authorities in preventing money laundering or tracing ill-gotten gains. So, “we have some good points in our favour”.
    He said the task ahead would require resolute action in some key areas familiar to the 55-yearold island-nation, which recently transformed itself from a 300-year-old monarchy to a constitutional republic.
    “I certainly believe we have to put emphasis on increased foreign exchange earnings, on employment and on fiscal stabilisation,” the economist said a few days after the ruling Barbados Labour Party won all 30 House of Assembly seats in the January 19 General Election.
    “A small open economy like Barbados’ can’t survive without earning foreign exchange to pay for the goods and services it needs from the rest of the world,” Cox added, a few days before Cleviston Haynes, the current Central Bank Governor delivered an economic report card, which included a forecast of economic growth in 2022.
    As he explained it, “employment is at the centre of maintaining socioeconomic stability,” recognising that effective fiscal management, stabilising the Government’s revenues and expenditures will be a strong indication that the government has the ability to manage effectively its human and financial resources,” he added. “Definitely foreign exchange earnings must be at the top of the table of priorities to be followed by employment and fiscal management,” not necessarily in that order.
    Clever things
    He added: “Barbados was (once) a sugar economy which (successfully) changed to a tourism economy and later changed being a tourism and an international business services economy,” he said. “There are difficulties today with both of those sectors. In the face of a pandemic which restricted global travel, we have done some clever things such as the Barbados Welcome stamp and visa initiative. But that’s not going to be enough to save the day and we really have to hope that the pandemic subsides and we are able to regain our reputation as a destination which provides a high-quality tourism experience to visitors. We have to find ways and means to boost the quality of that experience. We have people on the ground (in Barbados) who are capable of doing that.”
    Cox insisted that much of the country’s future economic success would “depend on what happens
    externally” during the next five-year term of the Mottley era.
    “Even if there is no uptick in world economic activity, there will still be room for Barbados to move forward. Enough people will be travelling as tourists for the destination to carve out a niche in the travel market and manage its resources and systems carefully to survive,” he said. “Even with the downward revision of the original International Monetary Fund global economic forecasts, there will still be sufficient room for Barbados to survive in the tourism market.”
    As for efforts to accelerate the pace of job creation in order to reduce unemployment, Cox thinks the country can weather much of the projected economic storm, provided it was able to revitalise the tourism sector and protect its offshore financial and international business services arena while attracting foreign direct investment.
    An important consideration, he said, would be the Government’s ability to show people at home and abroad that Barbados can effectively manage its fiscal affairs, something it began to do in the pre-COVID era.
    “If there is a sense that the Government is demonstrating competence in economic management, then the tourism and offshore financial services areas, the domestic private sector would be encouraged to expand investment and generate jobs,” he said. However, “the Government should refrain from being the principal agent of job creation in the years ahead”.
    The former Governor gave the Mottley administration good marks for some of its economic measures which were introduced during its initial three and a half years in office but he warned that effective fiscal management must remain a crucial factor in ushering in any future prosperity.
    For instance, Cox cited the Government’s agreement with the IMF for “getting the financial” train back on track and singled out the administration’s surprising ability to get foreign and domestic lenders to make concessions on the servicing and repayment of loans and for maintaining a measure of effective control of the country’s fiscal management.
    “The Government made a heroic effort that brought the fiscal position under control,” he said.
    But he wants to see even greater efficiency in the collection of Government revenue.
    “Fiscal management is going to be the real test,” he warned.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • @ DavidJanuary 29, 2022 8:02 AM

    Our government’s strategy of putting all its eggs in one basket is clearly working. Contrary to what our BU commentators believe, diversification of the economy would not even be possible due to the lack of capital and the isolated location in nowhere.

    I look forward to the tourism industry soon surpassing its record earnings from the winter of 2018/19 so that our natives can all go back to toiling on the hotel plantations.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if new hotel towers in prime locations were soon growing into the sky. A word of advice to our honourable government: reintroduce the labour penalty. In view of the rampant crime, our government could use this new type of education to have the hotels built almost for free for our beloved international investors. This works very well in Dubai and Qatar.

    Supreme Leader command, Hyatt and Four Season will follow!

    Like

  • Govt bond picks up

    US$530 million instrument doing well overseas
    by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    A US$530 MILLION Barbadosissued bond is performing well internationally, but if Government is thinking about issuing new United States-dollar securities overseas it will likely have to woo foreign investors with a more attractive offer.
    That is the assessment of Nathalie Marshik, managing director, emerging markets, at Stifel Financial Corp., a longstanding global wealth management and investment banking firm in the US.
    She was reflecting on Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes’ statement last Wednesday that local investors were responding slowly to Government’s $125 million treasury note, the first such offer since the 2018 domestic debt restructuring.
    When Government hammered out a debt exchange agreement with holders of US dollar-denominated debt in 2019, it resulted in the issuance of a restructured US$530 million bond to investors.
    The terms of the bond included a 6.5 per cent per annum coupon payable semi-annually. After a fiveyear grace period, there will be equal semi-annual repayments of the principal amount from April 2025 to final maturity on October 1, 2029.
    Information from Bloomberg Finance showed that on Friday, the Barbados 2029 bond was trading at 99.75 cents on the dollar, having reached a high of 102.87 cents on the dollar on March 22 last year.
    Marshik said the Barbados 2029 bond was the only US dollar one now available to overseas investors, but “it is not very liquid because it is very well held by real money managers”.
    ‘Quite good’
    She explained that the bond’s performance “has been quite good” considering the recent market volatility resulting from the US Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce its monthly purchases of bonds – a process known as tapering – and interest rate hikes expected in March.
    “I charted the repayment schedule and it’s a very manageable schedule for the [Barbados] Government,” she said in reference to the Barbados 2029 bond payments.
    Marshik said the Mia Amor Mottley administration “probably” could issue a new US dollar bond, but her view was for Government “to keep focusing on cheap multilateral financing right now”.
    She added that given how Barbadian investors
    have not fully regained their appetite for Government paper, any such offer would need to pay a more attractive interest rate than the Barbados 2029 bond.
    “The performance under the [Barbados economic reform] programme has been good but the international markets would catch up quickly to the fact the Government has struggled to issue locally and would probably require a pickup from existing 6.5 per cent yields,” Marshik said.
    In its last Barbados country report issued in November, another international investment firm, England-based EMFI Securities Limited, advised clients to hold onto their Barbados 2029 bonds.
    “Since June, the credit has been moving laterally around 101 cents on the dollar with no major variations. Its yield held relatively steady at 6.15 per cent, 13 basis points down from the previous month (6.28 per cent),” it said.
    EMFI said despite what it saw as some “alarming indicators” related to the economy, Barbados’ net foreign reserves were enough to cover 2022 debt payments.
    “Consequently, we maintain our hold rating,” the firm added.
    When the $125 million treasury note was issued in November, Haynes said the bond “represents the first step towards restoring normality to the domestic capital market while creating greater balance between new domestic and external funding”.
    Government has not indicated if it intends to issue new US dollar bonds to raise capital via overseas investors.
    “One anticipates that over the medium term there will be other instruments that will come on the market. Therefore, persons would be able to make their decisions as to whether they want to acquire them,” Haynes said when the treasury note was announced.
    “We have to get the pricing right, we have to get the maturities right, but only time will tell whether or not we have returned to a true state of normalcy.”

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • @ David January 31, 2022 5:28 AM

    Our government should introduce compulsory exchange into USD government bonds for USD accounts of our natives on the island.

    Without permanent debt accumulation and further debt cuts, we cannot maintain the illusion of prosperity for the naïve masses.

    Like

  • Marshall not for fiscal rule

    GOVERNMENT’S PLANNED introduction of a fiscal rule in Parliament, and its expected return to a fiscal target of six per cent of gross domestic product, have been taken to task by political economist Professor Don Marshall.
    “We are going to Parliament to impose a fiscal rule that will speak to a fiscal target of six per cent and sustaining that target over time. It binds this current Government and the next Government,” said the director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.
    He stressed that certain fiscal rules can be harmful to Caribbean economies “The world is running deficits and if it is to experience a sustainable post-pandemic future, the Caribbean has to be allowed the policy space to run deficits of two per cent. I can’t see how we in 2022 begin to embark on a reversal towards fiscal surplus. You don’t diversify your economy without deficit spending. It is ahistorical and asocial to expect the Caribbean to do that,” Marshall said.
    “The most harm that can be done to these economies is to have fiscal rules implemented. Just to get a fiscal surplus of six per cent, we had to lay off 1 500 workers, streamline several statutory corporations. You are not going to get the transformation of our types of societies which is based largely on tourism and international banking. You are not growing out other sectors with fiscal surpluses of six per cent. It just won’t happen. You don’t have the firepower to do it.”
    The senior researcher was speaking yesterday during SALISES’ Research For Development online forum.
    In 2018, the Mia Amor Mottley administration embarked on the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme facilitated by the International Monetary Fund. It led to various cost-cutting measures, including hundreds of public sector layoffs.
    Target achieved
    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government achieved its primary surplus target of six per cent of gross domestic product (GDP)
    in financial year 2019/20. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drastic decline in tax revenues and the target was adjusted to minus one per cent of GDP for the 2020-2021 financial year.
    While noting the measures in the BERT programme, Marshall said a considerable amount of transformation was required, and more needed to be done to build out industries.
    “One of the downsides of merchantdominated capitalist societies is the innate belief in the superiority of foreign goods over local ones, and because you are so much into import trading and valuing entrepreneurial products from outside.
    “We have to pursue a greater capital accumulation and to industrialise. That is critical for the transformation of the region. With that would come a culture of innovation, a culture that embraces inventiveness,” he added. (TG)

    Source: Nation

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  • CDB: Don’t expect double-digit growth

    Stories by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH
    shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    THE CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (CDB) expects the Barbados economy to expand this year, but it does not think the expansion will be in the double digits predicted by the Central Bank.
    Ian Durant, director of the Barbados-based financial institution’s economics department, said yesterday that with the country’s gross domestic product having expanded by an estimated 1.4 per cent in 2021, the CDB’s forecast was for 7.6 per cent economic growth this year.
    The economist told the MIDWEEK NATION that while last year’s growth was a positive, and this year’s outlook would continue the improvement, the reality was that Barbados’ economy was still below the level of economic activity achieved in 2019.
    Durant also said in the interview following the CDB’s annual news conference that “in real terms Barbados didn’t get back to the level of real economic activity that existed in 2008 prior to the global financial meltdown”.
    He said it was critical for Barbados to continue to implement “what appears to be a pretty robust infrastructure programme that is intended to improve competitiveness and also to continue to implement improvements in the institutional framework”.
    “The Barbados economy grew by 1.4 per cent last year, according to estimates, and we are anticipating further growth of about 7.6 per cent for 2022. That growth is predicated on the performance of the tourism sector as well as some construction activity,” Durant said.
    “It’s good that the country is recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. Basically you are seeing a return of tourism and, of course, the Government seems to be undertaking some priority projects to make sure that the competitiveness of the economy is improved.”
    He added: “But I think what we need to bear in mind, just to indicate how urgent the need is for improvements in competitiveness, [is] that growth does not put Barbados in real terms at where it was in 2019.
    “So you still have a deficit in terms of the real level of economic activity in 2019 versus 2022 even with 7.6 per cent on top of 1.4 per cent. And even then again in real terms Barbados didn’t get back to the level of real economic activity that existed in 2008 prior to the global financial meltdown.
    So what you have [is] a situation where even though there is growth [you] are pretty much not where you were in 2008.”
    His assessment was that Barbados needed to “make up for that in terms of delivering on the aspirations of people with respect to incomes and so on”.
    He said Government’s infrastructure programme and institutional improvements would “help the economy to improve its competitiveness and by improving competitiveness, then you increase the chances or you provide the environment within which other export sectors can emerge”.
    “Let’s face it: in order to compete globally the costs that a producer faces in Barbados must be comparable with those faced by a potential competitor in another country,” Durant said.
    “So it’s very critical if you are going to exploit the entrepreneurial skills of residents in Barbados and [harness] their talents, you basically are going to have to ensure that the playing field compares favourably with the playing field in other countries.”
    The 7.6 per cent growth the CDB has predicted for Barbados, while not as high as the Central Bank’s, is among the highest among the bank’s 19 borrowing member countries. Guyana (47.5 per cent) and St Lucia (8.1 per cent), are the only countries forecast to grow more.
    The CDB’s overall projection is that the regional economy will grow by 9.1 per cent this year.
    Durant told the news conference, which was held under the theme Priorities For Growth And Development, that the region needed to reduce its vulnerabilities by becoming more resilient in its social, economic, environmental, and institutional dimensions.

    Source: Nation

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  • $200b to finance ecosystem in region
    A $200 BILLION financing ecosystem is to be mobilised among a series of five initiatives intended to sustainably rescue, recover and reposition the development of Barbados and its other 18 borrowing member countries.
    The initiative was outlined yesterday by Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) president Dr Gene Leon. He told the bank’s annual news conference that with the COVID-19 pandemic having “debilitated our region”, countries had “not merely to recover lost ground or to close the distance to achieving the sustainable development goals”, they also had to “fundamentally alter the development path so that our societies can be placed on a higher and more sustainable welfare path in the future”.
    Leon proposed that this be done by fostering learning and health networks, driving economic diversification through embracing innovation, mainstreaming climate adaptation and sustainable energy, improving governance and reducing the implementation capacity deficit, and developing an innovative financing eco-system that distinguishes financing for rescue, financing for recovery, and financing for repositioning.
    On the latter, he explained: “It is a financing ecosystem to the extent that we are saying that if we are to mobilise adequate finance we need to have instruments but we need to also have a regulatory system and we need to have the appropriate market infrastructure and conditions.” He saw the need for up to $200 billion to achieve the five areas outlined.
    We have to be able to draw in funds from many sources, both donors, public, philanthropists
    and private sector as a means of beginning to make that dent in mobilising the extent of finance that we do need for the next…decade”.
    “Financing for rescue needs to be highly flexible and targeted for meeting liquidity needs arising from emergencies, especially natural hazards, be sufficient, have minimum conditionalities and with automatic triggering for fast-paced disbursement,” he said.
    “Possible instruments include the CDB’s emergency policy-based loans, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, insurance-linked securities such as catastrophe bonds and rapid disbursing credit and investment facilities such as provided by the International Monetary Fund.”

    Source: Nation

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