Barbados’ economy is doing relatively well in spite of the global economic climate and there is no pressure on its foreign reserves or threat to the value of the dollar.
So said Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he addressed the Barbados Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ seminar under the theme: Determination to Achieve, today at the Savannah Hotel.
Giving an account of Government’s initiatives over the last five years, he said: “We have experienced conditions of slow growth and economic uncertainty and financial stress has greatly and adversely affected all of us in the Caribbean. Those countries like Barbados that rely on a service economy, driven by the demand of the developed world, have had a more difficult time than others… We have had to meet the current needs of our people while still providing some impetus for economic growth … as well as provide capacity for future expansion.”
Boyce said that against the background of the negative growth in the developed world many nations like Barbados were also under stress, however, he noted that it was government’s view that this country had been able to manage “quite well so that business and social conditions have been kept far less hostile than they otherwise would have been”.
He pointed out that foreign reserves of the country had remained well in excess of the safety standard of three months of cover for imports of goods and services, adding that the foreign reserve cover over the last five years had remained in excess of what it had been over the period up to 2007.
The senator ed: “The decline in the Gross Domestic Product has been halted and the country has had a small growth of around a half to three quarters of one per cent — 2010 to 2011 has seen a relatively sluggish performance.
“Increasing unemployment has been contained and the current rate of around 11 per cent is in line with our historical average. Government’s deficit is also coming down and our social safety support has become stronger,” he added.
In the area of the foreign exchange earning sectors of the economy — namely multinational businesses, he said that for the most part, Government had been able to keep performance “stable to improving”.