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Businesses need ease, says Worrell

Barbados needs to urgently make it easier for businesses to operate in Barbados. Central Bank of Barbados Governor, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, said business facilitation was a pressing need as the island sought to become more competitive economically in a time of continued difficulty.

“We have to address that, I think if there is one urgent priority that we have it is to up our game as far as business facilitation is concerned. It is something that you keep hearing every time,” he said this morning.

The economist was answering questions from the media one day after the bank released its review of the economy for 2012 and made projections for this year. He said it was important to make the lives of business people easier, considering that Barbados was private sector-led economy.

“It’s not the Government that makes the economy grow. What makes the economy grow are the entrepreneurs in tourism in international business, in our export sectors and the other areas where we can earn foreign exchange or we have possibility for savings on the foreign exchange. So that is where we have to focus our attention,” he recommended.

“It’s not about price, it’s about the quality of services, it’s about the investment, it’s about diversifying and making your products unique so that you get that return.” Despite the tourism decline, the governor also saw some hope in that sector by industry participants who he said were willing to be innovative.

“There are a number of hotel companies, companies in the villa sector and so on, who are developing innovative marketing strategies to brand their products and are being successful at doing so. There are also investments, which we are aware of, and initiatives to enrich the tourism product,” he noted.

“Those are the things that I think we need to focus on in terms of the successes … and others have to learn from the ones who are able in the midst of all these difficulties to grow their product.” Worrell also said he was unsure when Barbados’ unemployment problem would be resolved.

“It’s inevitable, the length the recession has been, that we have not been able to turn around the unemployment situation. A lot depends on how good the winter tourist season turns out,” he stated. “I think the good thing on the employment situation, and it is a testimony to the strength of our social partners, that there has not been any massive job losses, they have been gradual and people have held on as long as possible.” (SC)

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