Barbados is missing out on millions of dollars in potential foreign exchange earnings because of Government’s failure to implement necessary legislation.
Opposition Senator Kerrie Symmonds said Barbadians working in the production and processing of beef, chicken and fish continued to be barred from exporting their output to Europe because for five years the current administration had failed to implement the necessary sanitary and phytosanitary provisions.
He was contributing to debate on the Value Added Tax (Barbados Network Programme) (Validation) Bill, 2012 in the senate today.
Speaking in the context of opportunities available with the Economic Partnership Agreement between the region and Europe, the Barbados Labour Party lead spokesman in the Upper House criticised Government for its failure to solve the “simple issue”.
“We have in Barbados a National Agricultural Health and Food Control Bill, but the ongoing issue since 2008 has been that you can’t get the legislation corrected so that you settle that which is required by the World Trade Organisation for either the Chief Agricultural Officer or a Chief Medical Officer to be the party that gives the seal of approval if we wish to export a protein from Barbados,” he said.
“So between 2008 and today because we cannot seem to resolve that simple issue … we have gone bereft of using that legislation, bereft of finalising that legislation to a stage where for five long, harmful and unforgivable years, Barbados can’t export beef, Barbados can’t export fish.
“The reality is that the fish in our waters we can’t export nowhere… The same thing with chicken. Who are you exporting the chicken to? So the reality is that all of that is foreign exchange that goes abegging because this is the brightest Government, this is the most talented Government – you can’t do any better than this Government, so we are told,” he added. (SC)