Only one way out, warns Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley only sees one way out for the Barbados economy from its present “crisis”.

However, addressing the 60th anniversary dinner and awards for Hinds Transport at the weekend, she warned that there was still too much red tape stifling the performance of the local business sector.

“We are not going to get ourselves out of this crisis unless Barbadian businesses and Barbadian individuals earn their way through their businesses,” Mottley warned, while pointing out that “Governments do not grow, businesses and individuals do”.

“And I want us to understand this because it is against this background that we recognize that it is our solemn duty to make it easier to do business in this country,” the Barbados Labour Party leader said.

Amid concern about the country’s high debt burden of over 140 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and its high fiscal deficit of about six per cent of GDP,  Mottley stressed that while it was important to focus on debts and deficits “it does not take away from us the obligation of making it easier to do business in Barbados.

“It is too difficult to do business in the ports, it is too difficult to do business in public affairs, it is too difficult to do business in anything that requires licencing . . . . Until we start to create that seamless environment, we are not going to be able to do the things that are necessary to take us out of this economic hurricane for the last nine years,” she told the gathering which included Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss.

The Opposition Leader  is therefore clamouring for the implementation of policies to guarantee businesses and investors better returns.

“In this environment where returns . . . are as minuscule as they are in our banking system, 0. 01 per cent and 0.1 per cent, we have a duty to pass an enabling framework, through legislative and other policy measures, to match funds that people want to save with entities that need access to finance in a way where confidence is created,” Mottley said, adding that “there has to be a deepening of our capital markets and there has to be the creation of trust where entities, Barbadian entities, can legitimately source capital at cheaper rates and Barbadian investors can collect better returns on their investments than they are currently getting”.

At the same time, she commended the Hinds family, who she described as long time friends, on their achievements. As one of the few remaining Black enterprises on the island, Mottley urged them to set examples for the future of Barbados with a view to normalizing the entrepreneurial spirit within the country.

In his address, Inniss also commended the Hinds family on their success, while challenging them to expand their brand beyond this island’s shores.

“As you look towards the future, please recognize that Barbados is not the only sphere within which you can operate. I know it is not easy, but recognize that the world is an oyster. I want to see more Barbadian owned businesses go beyond our natural borders doing business,” Inniss said.

The intergenerational family business was founded by Harold Hinds. And with three generations of Hinds present, as well as the 28 staff and business partners, the company on Saturday relived its journey from 1957 to 2017.

In honour of its diamond anniversary, Hinds Transport also disclosed that it will be restoring the East Point Lighthouse for the Government and the people of Barbados. The project is to be completed by the end of October.

7 Responses to Only one way out, warns Opposition Leader

  1. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman September 25, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Got to have more than two options y’all just saying

    Reply
    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba September 26, 2017 at 2:29 am

      AGREE THEY ARE MANY…BUT WICKEDNESS MUST PREVAIL, T UP KEEP THEY STANDARD OF LIVING

      Reply
  2. Alex Alleyne September 26, 2017 at 12:28 am

    IMF

    Reply
  3. John Everatt September 26, 2017 at 12:37 am

    IMF

    Reply
  4. Adrian Hinds September 26, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Word to the Unions. It will not be business as usual under a Mia Mottley government. In fact privitization of the services she mentions that are essential to growing business in Barbados has to be on the cards. It’s not only efficiency that needs to be introduce – the cost of doing business is too high and to the private sector it means the wages of public sector workers in these services and that of other union members are way to high.

    Reply
  5. Tee White September 26, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    This speech by Mia Mottley underlines the urgent need for Bajan workers and ordinary people in general to educate ourselves about our country’s economy so that we can take an active part in this discussion from an informed position. If we fail to do so, others will present us with options that serve the interests of the rich local elite and foreign millionaire investors but which do economic and social damage to the majority.

    We will not get out of our current difficulties by following the policies which landed us in this situation in the first place. Nor will we find a way out by simply swallowing neo-liberal economic dogmas about the role of the state in the economy. China, which is rapidly advancing towards being the world’s largest economy, has an extensive state owned sector. According to the World Bank’s 2015 figures, which are the latest that are publicly available, Barbados attracted over US$ 250 million in foreign investment in that year. This represented over 5% of GDP, which is considered successful. This does not support the idea that the problem our economy is facing is due to a lack of ease of doing business.

    We are currently paying BD$1.5 billion each year in servicing our debt, not to mention the huge amounts of money that leave our shores as profit for foreign investors. How much could we do with these sums of money? We could, for example, support young people to set up co-operatives to produce goods and services that we currently import, thereby cutting our unsustainable import bill, reducing our cost of living which is one of the highest in the eastern caribbean and at the same time providing young people with gainful employment so they don’t fall into the hands of the criminal gangs. Nicaragua has a thriving co-operative sector which makes a massive contribution to their economy. We could improve our public health facilities, improve our water supply, invest in proper preparation for these increasingly deadly hurricanes and much more.

    The main thing is that we need to intervene in the discussion with the clear aim of re-organising our economy so that its main priority is meeting the needs of ordinary Bajans and not just those of the elites and foreign investors.

    Reply
  6. Mark Adamson September 27, 2017 at 11:26 am

    “The Opposition Leader is therefore clamouring for the implementation of policies to guarantee businesses and investors better returns”.

    Soon after a reported BLP fundraiser, this is what the WORST, POOREST, WEAKEST BLP is reported to have said at the 60th dinner and awards of Hinds Transport at the weekend.

    No doubt she is assuming that such higher returns will come at the greatest expense possible of the workers at that company and other business establishments getting greater receipts to take home, in very depressionary local political economic and financial conditions.

    What a political joker for BLP leader!!

    Rather than also outline some aspects of her vision for the country – which she lacks though – and the direction in which she would like the country to head in, she engages in meaningless generalities and peripheralities, thus squandering another real opportunity to do so.

    ** I must congratulate Tee White for the above analysis.

    Reply

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