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Not much can be done, says Worrell

Barbadian tourism officials may have to put contingencies in place to ensure that the good 2012/2013 winter tourist season the Central Bank is pinning an economic recovery on, materialises.

But Governor Dr. DeLisle Worrell said there was generally not a lot officials could do to ease the pain of small and larger businesses and he blamed distressing policies introduced by “industrial countries that we depend on for our foreign exchange”.

“We have to face the world as it is. We would all have wished and I think actually that I am distressed by the policy stances of the industrial countries that we depend on for our foreign exchange, because I think that with better policies, with sensible policies we would be out of this recession long time ago,” Worrell told the media today during a Press conference at the Central Bank.

“But that is the world that we live in; there is nothing that we can do to alleviate the conditions of the small producers because they depend on vigorous activity in the major sectors that earn foreign exchange, and particularly in tourism. That is what fuels expenditures within the economy.”

In its nine-month review released yesterday, the bank said an improved economic performance in the final quarter of 2012 and heading into the new year largely depended on tourism. If there was a bad winter tourist season, he said, steps would have to be taken to restrict its negative impact.

“From our perspective the contingency plan is always you have to get that expenditure to match what’s coming in, so if less comes in it’s going to be tighter expenditure, but I think the first contingency plan has to be with the Ministry of Tourism and the Barbados Tourism Authority,” he said.

Despite the challenges, however, Worrell said he was “confident that the economy of Barbados is in good hands because it is in your hands, the hands of all the workers in this country”.

“The key to economic growth in Barbados is the competitiveness of the activities which earn us foreign exchange and which save foreign exchange. These are tourism, international business and financial services, agro-processing and alternative energy,” he noted.

“The factors which make us competitive are investment to upgrade, expand, and renew our products and services, and the delivery of such excellent quality of service that our customers keep coming back and continue to spread the word.

“That is why our future and the future of our economy is up to all of us. If we vow, each and every one of us, to offer everyone of our clients an unforgettable experience we will have guaranteed the future growth and development of our economy,” he added. (SC)

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