The Barbados dollar will not be devalued.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is making that position clear in the wake of this week’s three-notch downgrade by the international ratings agency, Moody’s.
Moody’s has suggested that the Barbados dollar was facing increasing pressure due, in part, to Government’s borrowing, which, it said, was affecting the country’s currency peg to the US dollar.
But in a statement issued today, Minister Sinckler said devaluation is not even being considered, and he was firm that Government would not allow any ratings agency to drive its policies.
“The Government is committed to the fixed exchange regime and will do what needs to be done to protect the Barbados dollar. Neither the Government nor people of Barbados want a devaluation of the Barbados dollar, and as the Government, we are determined to do what is required to maintain the fixed exchange rate and honour our financial commitments,” he said.
“The Government is committed to the programme of fiscal consolidation, and we are seeing major signs of renewed economic growth in Barbados. As a Government and a people, we will stand shoulder to shoulder and overcome the challenges we currently face.”
Meantime, the finance minister has confirmed the sale of the Four Seasons property, stating it would contribute some US$250 million to the economy.
Barbados TODAY had earlier reported that the deal involves one of the world’s largest wealth funds based in Qatar, along with a group of local partners.
While the minister did not give any details about the investors, he said this project and others that are earmarked to come on stream within a year, would pump close to US$900 million into the economy.
“In the last six months, the Government has entered into an agreement with a foreign firm for the construction of a US$240 million Waste To Energy Plant (all private equity); Sandals Corporation is expending $130 million on expanding one of its properties in Barbados, while agreeing with Government to purchase a second property at the old Almond Hotel site and spend over US$250 million of its own money to rebuild a new 500 room hotel there. With this development, Government will now no longer have to take on debt to finance this operation.
“Additionally, Government has recently approved the sale of the former abandoned “Four Seasons Resort Project” to a major international investor and that will trigger another US$250 million in foreign direct investment. All of these projects, plus others, including a new cruise terminal at the Bridgetown Port, are expected to start within the next six months to a year,” Sinckler said.