Still working

The Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados told the country this morning he was not basing his confidence in a restored growth in the economy on the Government, but on the people –– and private enterprise .

Dr Delisle Worrell informed a third- quarter post-economic review news conference, at his Church Village, Bridgetown office, that he was confident the current Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy, which focuses on sustainable growth, would work for the betterment of the island, but urged citizens to be patient, because the approach was not a “flash in the pan” –– that could result in Barbados running out of

foreign reserves. He said the fiscal strategy had been

working since the recession began in 2008, by maintaining more than adequate foreign reserves, adding that he had confidence there would continue to be a successful turning around in the economy.

”My confidence is based, not on the Government, but on Barbadians and Barbadian enterprise, and the fact that Barbadians know how to dig into their own reserves and their own capabilities and address the issues that have to be addressed in order to move this country forward. We have done it before and we will do it again,” the Government economic advisor stressed.

”It is not about Government,” he insisted. ”Government does not earn foreign

exchange, Government cannot grow the economy; it is the private sector. Barbadians have every reason to be confident of our future. We are the best in the Caribbean through our strength of character and through investing in ourselves.

“We have beaten the odds before, and we know it is not as difficult as it seems, once you buckle down to the task,” the top economist declared.

”It is patience, persistence, determination and excellence that win the day; and there is something that each Barbadian can do to contribute to our growth … entrepreneurs, to develop and promote projects to prospective foreign investment partners; Government, to upgrade business facilitation, which is our Achilles heel; and workers, to improve productivity and build the Barbadian reputation for excellence,” the Central Bank Governor suggested.

He was of the view that this country’s business facilitation environment needed substantial “ramping up” to attract more foreign investors, bearing in mind that the level of bureaucracy that currently existed had the potential to be a “turn-off”. And, at a time when this country’s private foreign investments have fallen from $473 million, at September 2012, to $147 million at the same period this year, Worrell is pointing out that Barbados needs to focus on investors who are interested in a long-term relationship with the island. His rationale was that those with short-term interests did not necessarily have the island’s welfare at heart.

He did not expect the 11.1 per cent unemployment rate to increase during the rest of the year, but even though he anticipates a possible further decline in the foreign reserves, the Governor does not see them dropping by the same magnitude of the $447 million since December 2012. (EJ)

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