Bim no longer the best – Abed

Barbados is in need of “urgent leadership” from next year as it is no longer the country to look up to in the Caribbean, according to a noted member of the business community.

Looking back at 2016 during which the country celebrated its Golden Jubilee, President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Eddy Abed said it was only normal that Barbadians would reflect on the hard work, sacrifices and nationalistic pride exhibited by citizens over the last 50 years that brought the country to the current level of development.

However, he said Barbados could no longer boast of being the best because a lot of the progress had been reversed.

“Our level of development, education and productivity, when compared to other Caribbean nations, are no longer the gold standard. The gains of our forefathers are being eroded by a lack of entrepreneurship and inertia, as far too many are enjoying a level of entitlements Barbados can no longer sustain,” said Abed in this month’s edition of the association’s Chamber Biz newsletter.

Stating that modern societies were built on information, industrious and well-educated workers, access to finance and a productive and efficient private and public sector, Abed said if any of those ingredients went awry “the equation falters and the results are anarchy”.

“Timely and decisive leadership encourages confidence and ensures growth for the benefit of all citizens. Barbados needs urgent leadership in 2017 and beyond to rescue us from ‘more of the same’ to ‘punching above our weight,’” he wrote.

“I’ve seen a level of frustration growing this year as the information regarding our economy, our morality and our ethics seem to suggest that they are perpetually declining as violence, crime and industrial unrest are growing faster than weeds! Ours is a destination for tourists and international business, which will choose to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere or worse, invest in other jurisdictions,” Abed warned.

The business leader said the prolonged effects of indecision by Government on matters relating to the merging of state enterprises, privatization or public/private sector partnerships, were evident this year “as the citizens and visitors to this country are subjected to poorly maintained roads, buses and both sewerage and delivery of potable water infrastructure”.

“Sadly this will only worsen as Central Government is asked to do more with less resources,” he stated, adding that all stakeholders had a responsibility agree measures to address the problems and establish an oversight committee to ensure agreed solutions are adhered to.

In a further analysis of 2016, the business executive said the Chamber continued its advocacy in relation to concerns such as the difficulty in doing business and refunds from the Barbados Revenue Authority. He said the BCCI also recommended a number of catalysts to revive the economy, “specifically with a focus towards enterprises that could both earn and or save foreign exchange as well as create jobs”.

Looking ahead, Abed said the BCCI remained optimistic about next year’s prospects, adding that he was confident that once large capital projects were mobilized they would create significant employment opportunities and impact positively on local businesses.

He also called for “mature and sober decisions” in consultation with the Social Partnership regarding a number of issues, including means testing, user fees and Government’s subsidies.

He added that he was confident that “our perennially poor standing” in the ease of doing business would be tackled head-on by the introduction of incentives for those who meet and surpass industry standard.

15 Responses to Bim no longer the best – Abed

  1. Tony Webster December 22, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Sounds as if the party, is over, and sober realities…just remain to confront us. US, in this case, includes those desks where “bucks” are supposed to come to rest, and be dealt with. To have the head of the BCI come out with such an un-varnished, cogent, and totally factual assessment, says it all.

    Mr. Abed, you speak not only for your membership, but for each and every suffering, worried-sick average citizen, who wonders daily, how to get the S.S. Barbados removed from Rocky Gully, where the ship of state remains scotched on the reef, with skipper fast asleep, and Hapless Crew agonizing over the options of (a) waking him, (b) waiting for divine salvation, or (c) China or some silly bank to lend us a lotta, lotta re-financing $tuff; (d) jumping ship,or (e) mutinying. Mutinying again.

    Reply
  2. Mike December 22, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Mr. Abed, face the realities and continue to speak the Truth.
    I like the word “inertia” – lack of energy, foresight, decisive action and in a comatose state of mind, body, soul and spirit. Amen.

    Reply
  3. Sheron Inniss December 22, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Could not put it better. I ask God to sustain us ’cause this bunch of ministers don’t have a clue. Ossie Moore might do better.

    Reply
  4. BaJan boy December 22, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Sheron Inniss why did you insult Ossie Moore like that even he and Gear Box would do better.

    Reply
  5. Peter December 22, 2016 at 8:37 am

    It is abundantly clear that Mr. Abed is subtly telling us all that this country lacks progressive leadership. We are going nowhere and we’re getting there fast. No positive nation building people in town. I have seen some great ideas and suggestions put forward but are debunked. Why? because govt. wants to take full credit and praise for coming up with the idea. That’s exactly how politicians behave. No wonder we have lost the respect from countries and islands that formerly look up to us for leadership.

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  6. Zeus December 22, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Is this the same country that Trinidad and Tobago is investing in …..what major investments can the local private sector boast about

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  7. seagul December 22, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Sucking up to Abed–the spineless and the baldheads….Barbados is a wonderful country full of good people – but we have this one huge problem with a long-established culture of corruption and entitlement in politics and government service.

    Reply
  8. Winfield Forde December 22, 2016 at 11:51 am

    As I said before …..if the head is “bad” the whole body will most likely be “bad”…..Wake up Barbados…

    Reply
  9. Sheron Inniss December 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    seagul I don’t suck up to a fellow. Sometimes the gentleman with my surname is wrong. BaJan boy I am so sorry. You may just be right. I am going to give my God thanks in everything and hope for relief.

    Reply
  10. John Q December 22, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Looking in from the outside, you could see the cracks in the wall; our leadership has no clue. Wake up BAJANS….. you don’t deserv this !!!!

    Reply
  11. Buddy December 22, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Seagull, ignorance is not bliss. There is no BUT. The huge problem you speak of is detrimental to the wonderfulness you speak of. If you cannot see the connection then the saying there is none so blind as those who cannot see will aptly apply to you. Wake up and realise that you are an Island that is no longer self sufficient and rapidly sliding into the sea of doom. Oh and God cant help you

    Reply
  12. Carson C Cadogan December 22, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Then why dont you head back to
    Syria?

    Reply
  13. Ben Haynes Psy.D December 22, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Well, well, well. It is about time somebody tells it like it is. Now, can the fixin take place in our life time or, do we have to change our way of life to meet the Americans, Chinese, or our young. Yes, our young? How easy it is to cry out, “Barbados is a beautiful country.” Perhaps it is, or is not. You be the judge. But what is necessary, what is important for Barbados to develop as a free nation one that will make its citizens wish to stay home, and what must be done for our children to strive for a strong future? Mr. Abed said that “Bim is no longer the best,” and that should not be a big surprise to any of us today. Like many declining nations the evidence of declining morals, greed, and corruption, the lack of knowledge are the order of the day. But now as we hear about our present situation from an expert we can ask, do we have new oil for these old wheels are we preparing our children for a better future, how to negotiate with foreign companies on a sensible level, and to weed out the corrupt ones that call themselves politicians and, do we have the maturity, the quality to build a strong economic giant?

    Reply
  14. Concerned December 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Yes Carson. Why Syria? He might as well live here with the same result if you guys decide to be inert nitrogen.

    Reply
  15. Louis King December 23, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    AD HOC LEADERSHIP A RECIPE FOR DISASTER

    I knew we were in trouble right at the beginning of this regime, when a certain gentleman in a leadership position made remarks that indicated that not only did he doubt the verities of economic theory, but that he was more interested in consulting with the sociologists among his advisers than the highly qualified, individuals with a lifetime of knowledge in the dynamics of microeconomics.

    That is what is plaguing Barbados now. Economic theory is about the allocation of SCARCE resources. When someone is taking over a failing enterprise he knows without a doubt that he will have to spend some money.

    He will have to do FOUR things. (1) He will have to source funding. (2) He will have to apply those limited funds judiciously and accurately to those critical areas which are causing the decline. (3) He will have to inject some funds into those areas which will yield necessary short term returns, and (4) he will also have to make provision for long term supplies of human and material resources.

    I see no signs of any coherent economic plan at work in Barbados today. If there is, it is also the job of leadership to delineate it to all and sundry, so that we can all work together for success.

    Reply

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