Sinckler calls on private sector to pull its weight

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is accusing private sector companies that earn foreign exchange of keeping a lot of their earnings offshore.

He pointed the accusing finger at business operators while stating that if they were bringing in more foreign exchange into the country Government would not be forced to borrow as much as it did currently.

“Bring some more money on board. Let us see some more of the foreign exchange coming in so that we don’t have to borrow as much and we can have a more consistent supply. The truth is some people may say that has to do with confidence, maybe it does, but I still think that on the basis of what we are seeing, people can pull their weight a little bit more than they have been doing in that particular regard,” he said as he led off debate in Parliament this morning on the 2017 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.

Recently Acting President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Edward Clarke expressed “grave concern” about the country’s high deficit and falling foreign reserves.

“We were quite shocked yesterday to see the Central Bank’s report that our foreign reserves were at an extremely low level – $681 million or approximately 10.3 weeks cover . . . our foreign reserves are of grave concern to us all as Barbadians and as businesses in Barbados. We cannot allow this slide to continue,” Clarke had told the first BCCI’s luncheon for the year at the Hilton Barbados Resort on January 26.

Last month the Barbados Private Sector Association also said it was “deeply concerned” about the current state of the economy and it called for urgent short-term solutions to be implemented at the level of the Social Partnership.

However, candidly addressing the issue this morning, Sinckler recommended that the island’s two largest private sector groupings stop expressing concern and bring “tangible, demonstrable” solutions to the table.

“When the private sector groups meet, and I know they meet fairly often to discuss recommendations of how Government can boost foreign exchange earnings in Barbados, I want it to be prominently featured among their discussions in their groupings that they can come back to Government with tangible, demonstrable recommendations as to how they are going to get their members who earn foreign exchange to bring more of it on island,” Sinckler said.

“I am sending out that call to head of the [Barbados] Private Sector Association and the head of the Chamber of Commerce. Don’t only tell us about how concerned you are about how low the reserves are, tell us about how concerned you are that not enough foreign exchange earned by Barbadian companies are being brought into the island.”

Though not providing evidence to substantiate the claim, Sinckler said he simply did not believe “the bulk” of the foreign exchange being earned by private sector companies was making its way into the system.

However, he made it clear that “there is some foreign exchange we don’t want because we don’t want any from money laundering or any nefarious activities.

“We don’t want any Nigerian money either. What we want is good, clean foreign exchange that is earned legitimately. We don’t want any hanky-panky stuff around here.

“If there are vast amounts being held outside of Barbados, bring a little bit more and help the country out,” he stressed.

14 Responses to Sinckler calls on private sector to pull its weight

  1. Tony Webster March 14, 2017 at 1:24 am

    I have grown weary of pointing this out…right back to the 2013 elections, as well as the recent two years’ “boom” increases in tourism numbers…yet with a dearth of F/X reaching the Central Bank’s working balances.

    Why are we subjected to the spectacle of M.O.F. virtually pleading for more F/X reposing offshore, to be repatriated? Clear case of “Too little, too late”, When confidence in our F/X reserves is is now at an all-time low, the moment-and the iniative-have both has passed, and each business entity is now going to ” break fro themselves”. Fait accompli.

  2. Johnathan March 14, 2017 at 4:39 am

    What you expect them to do with clowns leading the country. When the circus ends thugs will change call an election in the interest of the country. No one has any confidence I t his government.

  3. Jus me March 14, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Yeah was a smsrt move to allow Sandals to get everyting tax free and as an all inclusive.
    Wasnt it you allowed it, Mutso

  4. Greengiant March 14, 2017 at 6:15 am

    In whom do you have confidence? @ Johnathan

  5. David E Hall
    David E Hall March 14, 2017 at 6:43 am

    When this minister was granting untold millions in concessions to private sector companies like Sandals and Cost U less etc with whom he seems to have a special relationship was he not thinking that times like theses the country would need the money he was throwing away? When Minister Sealy was giving away our hard earn dollars in those failed airline deals was he not thinking about these days? when the former minister of housing was making sweet heart deals and producing no receipts for millions of dollars was it not seen back then that we would need money in the future.

    • Michelle Griffith
      Michelle Griffith March 14, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Pick the words right out of my mouth,poor people being tax to death while the rich ones and their businesses getting concessions.

  6. Baz Moz
    Baz Moz March 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Suggest the government pulls it’s weight and lead by example, instead of messing the economy and the Island up and Then has the audacity to tell the private sector to sort out its mess, bloody cheek, his ignorance is only surpassed by arrogance

  7. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    The Private Sector has been keeping their earnings off shore for donkey years. Now the island in ducts guts you calling on the private sector to do what the private sector was never doing in the first place. You make this sound like darn new revelation. The thing is you and the BLP in order to lure international investors to the island must offer them all sorts of perkies. You cannot control what they do because you are dependent on their business to keep bajans employed. You cannot even put measures in place because the people would just up their businesses and go else where. So the like the new slaves that we are to our new colonial masters, you got to beg them instead of making them. WOW…we certainly have achieve a lot since 1966 and free education.

  8. jrsmith March 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I always had a lot of respect for Sinckler, its just he is with the wrong people which is making him look bad like the others…….
    But this time he has totally blown it ,for decades the profits from bajan businesses especially the tourist industry was on a one way journey out of barbados,,
    He must be reminded of the (Audit General’s ) report over 700 millions Bds which politicians cannot account for , and in his report these said companies are the ones who wouldn’t repay the barbados people ‘s money and hiding they profits off shore, these are the same companies who is allowed to avoid taxes in Barbados…………………..
    We the bajan people need politicians in barbados to show the people who is paying taxes in barbados, we also need to make these companies pay or take them to court is barbados that corrupt……..

  9. David Eversley March 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Minister Sinckler, you and Minister Richard Sealy removed all the props from under all of our local business partner and put them under all of the foreign investors (by means of concessions) who do all they transactions outside of Barbados and then ship out the profits to they banks outside of Barbados.
    The only weight that local businesses can pull now, is the coffin of taxes you left them with

  10. David Eversley March 14, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    jrsmith, I had to post what was on my mind but I must support your article.

  11. jus me March 15, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Keep Hard Currency in BARBADOS.

    When you would want it, y,know there would be some problem in ACTUALLY getting it.

  12. jus me March 15, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Laff. Man, I coulda died.!!!




  13. Helicopter(8P) March 16, 2017 at 11:06 am

    What a situation! Months ago Your Honor you should have been inviting Barbados’ business sector to personal and productive meetings on such arrangements as to the servicing of foreign exchange. A good public relationship is always good! Maybe we could have learnt a thing or two. We are all Barbadians and we all feel the blazing hurt. We are in the ditch and together we formulate a plan. A mental plan then a documented one! The land is fair and so we must make our minds be fair as well!


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