We’re stuck and not growing – Carrillo

The people of Barbados and the rest of the region have a sense of entitlement and a high degree of arrogance that get in the way of economic growth, according to an expert on strategy and innovation.

Compounding the problem, said Dr Miguel Carrillo, the executive director and professor of strategy at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Trinidad and Tobago, are high levels of uncertainty, low value proposition, low economic value activities and high debt levels.

“We are stuck, we are not growing [and] we have huge debt levels,” Carrillo told a seminar on Barbados: Next Level of Growth at the Courtyard by Marriott Monday morning.

“We are fragile. Our smallness and geographic location make us fragile not only as an economy but country, and if we are not afraid of that, that is a problem. One of the biggest issues that I think is critical to address is to accept our own vulnerabilities. I am not going to come here to preach or give a psychological lecture, but this is an issue in the Caribbean – there is a huge sense of entitlement.”

The academic sought to compare the region with China, saying the Chinese possessed “profound values” of “self criticism”, a suggestion that the region needed to catch up in this area.

He added that unless the Caribbean “deeply and painfully” accepted its own vulnerabilities and flaws and “until we stop our sense of entitlement and start increasing significantly, our sense of accountability”, the region would not progress.

“When was the last time you found a Barbadian, a Trinidadian or Jamaican saying, ‘you know what, I am sorry, it was my fault?’ When was the last time you heard that?” Carrillo asked.

Carrillo said he had little faith in the public sector to create value for a country, adding that Barbados and the region “lack of a clear economic strategy”.

The strategy and innovation expert contended that “uncertainty is really taking over” the region, suggesting that this was because economic power rested with either the Governor of the Central Bank or the Minister of Finance.

“The reason is because power resides in whoever controls the biggest source of uncertainty. That is where power resides. Unpredictability is taking over. It is more difficult to predict what is happening tomorrow. Ambiguity is taking over and volatility is taking over,” Carrillo said.

The Mexican national, who has headed the regional institution since 2009, warned that Barbados’ position as a tourist destination was “eroding” as it continued to experience severe competition from other destinations, and that the island had difficulty attracting and retaining even more visitors because of a lack of attractions.

“Our value proposition is eroding, the attractiveness is eroding, and it is eroding fast. There are other contenders that actually have similar natural endowments like ours, but they have two critical advantages that we don’t – low wages and a very positive service orientation,” Carrillo said.

He charged that while Barbados and other Caribbean nations were experiencing increased cruise visitor arrivals, and were adding hotel rooms, this did not translate to greater economic returns.   

Making it clear that he was not equipped to tell Barbados how to run its affairs, Carrillo said some important questions must be answered.

“What is Barbados’ innovative, unique and national value proposition? What is it that we can offer to the world that is unique, different, singular, rare, difficult to imitate and difficult to substitute, and maybe even more importantly, generates tremendous value for our customers? What is it?” suggested Carrillo.

19 Responses to We’re stuck and not growing – Carrillo

  1. Jennifer April 11, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Well comparing this region with china is like comparing an elephant with a mouse. The difference is that China spent decades on its growth as a NATION and securing its infrastructure/businesses to CHINESE. We are still a COLONIZED people with little give only being the donkeys carrying the pig foods coupled with self serving governments. So how can a region of 95% black even begin to grow??????

    • VoR April 11, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      What does race have to do with this?

  2. Santini More
    Santini More April 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Our tourism model has become one where investments are producing diminishing returns for the country itself. It is time to develop a new economic model for Barbados, but can anybody seriously believe that a Government headed up by Stuart and incorporating Lowe, Kellman, Sinkler, Sukoo, Blackett etc, has the capability to do this? These folks are incompetent and are so arrogant they seem unwilling to engage with the private sector. Barbados desperately needs change, and it must start with changing these buffoons in Government.

  3. Adrian April 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

    The writer made a few valid points. His comparison of the Barbadian and other persons in the region with Chinese is valid; there are too many persons who believe that they are entitled and never hold themselves accountable, and this includes businesses as well. Too often persons just wait on and expect Government to do and provide everything while they themselves are quite unproductive.

  4. tsquires April 11, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Brother jr in nearly every respect you right, however our value system needs updating and the mirror image is still a problem, as we continue to see party governance as the way forward. “Ask not what my Country can do for me, ask instead what can I do for myself and my Country”. While especially party Governments in Barbados must make it easier for locals to get into investing. Governance is about the people (communities/societies) and not totally about economics, even though economics controls politics and not the other way around.

  5. Jea Alleyne April 11, 2017 at 8:25 am

    There is no need to plow any money into tourism. Barbados itself attracts travellers. The UK have no beaches, 9 months of rain barely 2 months of summer nothing like Bim weather…..they still receive tourists, people just like to travel simple and go where they can relax on a holiday.

    The problem lies with both Government and the people of Barbados. Colonialism still exists a method to exploit people. Individual(s) with an extensive background in black history, especially Barbados’ history will be able to resolve ALL of Barbados’ problems.

  6. Jea Alleyne April 11, 2017 at 8:36 am

    The 93% blacks should form their own government and run the country themselves, its obvious the minority are running it for themselves and the masses are suffering !!

    • Jennifer April 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

      @Jea Alleyne – well said. That is my point. Then we got a set people here in Barbados who has a toxic mentality towards reality and is willfully blind which is compounding a lot of the problems we face and is suffering. Only following the same white colonialist with their rhetoric. Then the governments with their hands tied who can only misinform, mismanage, misguide and dis-communicate with the masses. ONLY A HIT DOG does HOLLER.

  7. Helicopter(8P) April 11, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Our growth is in our agriculture productivity; where 80% of our agriculture land should be seen as productive and cultivated in crops which are in the world wide food consumption charts. Pineapples, coconuts, soy, guavas and provisions such as yams , potatoes, cassava; are all produce that are consumed at at high volume in the larger populated cities around the globe. It may not seem as important as the tourist industry but it has stability and is a good foreign exchange suppliant. Banks Holdings Limited production cost can also be limited by local production of citrus varieties which thrive well in our eastern and central regions on the island. Our horticulture production of flowers need to have a more aggressive marketing world wide complemented with an assured air freight delivery and connection globally.

  8. jrsmith April 11, 2017 at 11:17 am

    @ ,Jennifer, hail, hail , good kick off @ 3.09 , must add the majority of black bajans has a reality problem , making them feel they are middle class this make them also , in denial as a bunch of fake ass people who would loose an arm and a leg to be the Jones es …( blame it all on our bajan politicians) and the party faithfuls…
    Our politicians are arrogant , untrustworthy , very non productive and lacking management and economic skills….
    Bajans must decide we all have had enough of the arrogance and rudeness from them , but we need to stop them in they tracks , not forcing them on our young people ………………………….

    Effort is required to have something hanging over our politicians heads , automatically effective before the next election to keep them in check , lines been added to the parties constitution with the effect , that continuances have this right to cast a vote of no confidence , against him/her and if carry that politician is out on their ears , and the process starts to select some new………….

    @, Jea , A,, hail hail , on the button with (8.36) but to add the 1% is having they lives safe guard, by our said politicians at any costs and for the 1% they dont care two hoots about bajan politics……

    For real change in barbados we need something new , with very heavy financial backing , be dont need another bread and biscuit party or movement , we need to able to put steaks on the grill , not pigtails…………………………………………………………….

  9. Jennifer April 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    jrsmith – Hun, what do you think of the technology and the future of employment article???

  10. Carson C. Cadogan April 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I think this dude is speaking to MIA AMOR MOTTLEY.

    she is of the opinion that she is ENTITLED to be Prime Minister of Barbados .

    She is just like HIALARY CLINTON, and we all know what happen to her.

  11. La- Sean Gayle April 11, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    As tourist or resident you can walk freely

  12. La- Sean Gayle April 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    As a tourist or resident you can walk freely wether early,midday,or late night without looking!!!!

  13. Samud Ali
    Samud Ali April 11, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    He made a bigger point

  14. jrsmith April 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    @, Jennifer , hail hail,… the first two lines is on the button , but he is forgetting barbados and the region was never given a real change to be industrialize …
    Barbados and the region educated themselves for the sake of education, never consideration industrial technology..

    As for (China) two and a half decades ago , we would only see the Chinese in the paddy fields , now there are the worlds money box, or real problem we have no faith in ourselves, we are expecting some one will rescue us..
    If a blackman go out there , work his tail off becomes successful he cannot praise himself, for doing well he praise God ..
    Something (Obama ) said when some one goes out and do well he is the lucky one….

    • Jennifer April 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      jrsmith – good job. Not only that but at least the Chinese can be MORALLY HONEST and say that THEM personally went into the paddy fields and not executed tyranny, usury and terror on any one else to achieve what they have.

  15. Maurva Moseley April 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Our unique offering is becoming able to take on the job of being kind, loving and caring of each other. We will take care of our environment and build from the ground up to become totally aware of how we can have a population that cares about living passionately through a wide eyed look at each other to build a coalition of focused strength in reality. We will believe in ourselves and others in the way we have but taught to love our neighbours as ourselves. We will not neglect our way to build things and create things from what we have at our disposal to bring joy to everyone. We will have a code of loving outspokenness to say what has to be said without anger and judgement. We will live fully in taking care of our lives and the maintenance of our country, knowing that it is not only up to the lawmakers that we elect to make things work, but that each of us has a responsibility for everything here. We will make a difference every where because we understand how critical it is to be not taking the easy way to think or to act but to explore and ask ourselves critical questions about how we can make a difference. We can by seeing ourselves as not victims but as wonderful creators. We will attract many to our shores for the very important reasons of being shining lights to the world. We will start over as a people who understand that we have not yet built our own base on which we can stand and construct lives that suit our heritage and to reflect who we truly are.

  16. Toyaboo April 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    We can offer our accent and dialect, that is as rare and unique you will get.


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