Let’s be frank


With the Freundel Stuart administration struggling to regain economic stability and come up with a solid growth strategy, one of its own is calling for a “dose of frankness” in the analysis of the Barbados economy and about the path being charted for economic success.

Minister of Sport, Youth and Culture Stephen Lashley issued the call today while stating that entrepreneurship was one of the engines to help propel the struggling Barbados economy.

Addressing the official launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017 (GEW) at the Cave Hill School of Business, Lashley expressed disappointment that Barbadians continued to spend “too much time importing goods and services and expanding other economies”.

This, he complained, was partially responsible for the island’s less than favourable fiscal position.

“That is really why we have continuing [high] fiscal deficits in Barbados. It is not an issue that only afflicts the current Government, but [one] we have had in Barbados over many years if we are going to be frank. Sometimes policymakers can be frank . . . but I think we need a dose of frankness too in our analysis of where we are at and in charting a path for success.

“The fact is that over many years in Barbados, we have failed to make some serious decisions about our structural economy. The structural aspects of our economy are in need of basically remaking, rebuilding,” he said.

And with Government still mulling over what state-owned agencies to privatize, merge or enter into a public-private sector partnership, Lashley recommended one aspect of the rebuilding should include an overhaul of some state-owned funding agencies.

He explained that the current state of affairs made it too difficult for entrepreneurs to access critical funding to help in their expansion efforts, while adding that there were too many funding and other developmental agencies offering the same services.

“Perhaps I can speak to this one. There is need, if we are going to obtain success in terms of our quest towards entrepreneurial expansion, to relook how all of the agencies both within the public sector and private sector, how they collaborate.

“My view is that we perhaps have too many of these agencies doing the same things, and then after doing the same things, asking to collaborate. Some of them exist in the public sector and perhaps it is time to look at bringing them all together, particularly those agencies whose responsibility it is to provide funding to entrepreneurs. There are many entrepreneurs who crave for funding but somehow the bureaucracy prevents them from accessing funding at the right time; at the time it is necessary for them to carve out critical aspect of their business agenda. So I believe that is an area in which we have to be real,” he explained.

Stressing the need for appropriate funding and technical assistance, the Member of Parliament for Christ Church West Central said it was envisaged that start-ups would develop and become the “driving force behind economic growth in Barbados”.

This, he posited, would help to create jobs, increase cross-border trade and contribute significantly to revenue generating activities.

“Of course, this is all extremely relevant, particularly today as we are grappling with looking at our economy in Barbados, reshaping our vision both individually and collectively and looking at how we can reposition the Barbados economy towards growth,” Lashley said.

At the same time, he urged entrepreneurs to show more passion about their work and become more innovative, adding that “Barbados, in terms of our economy, will not return to growth unless our entrepreneurs, our indigenous business class, see new visions and have new passion”.

GEW 2017 will be celebrated November 13 – 19 under the theme, The 3 Ps – Passion, People and Profit. The Barbados Youth Business Trust, in association with a number of partners, will host a range of activities geared toward empowering entrepreneurs and helping them to better develop their businesses.

16 Responses to Let’s be frank

  1. Bajan boy October 28, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Why didn’t he close the 80m US deal with the Chinese Minister which wouuld have been a signica nt help to the economy. They to really shut …

  2. Saga Boy October 28, 2017 at 2:22 am

    I agree with the Minister. What we need is a lifetime change. Even if we had the $80 mil in a matter of time we will be back to square one. We have to produce more locally and consume it instead of importing it and paying foreign entities. Our taste is for foreign goods and services.

  3. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba October 28, 2017 at 4:02 am


  4. hcalndre October 28, 2017 at 4:17 am

    When Barbados get some fearless investigating reporters that start to check these politicians life styles and challenge them when they run to court with their frivolous law suits which they expect to win because of friends, you would see who is importing and shopping outside of Barbados. All them jostling for position now, so you hear the half truths about the economy.

  5. Sunshine Sunny Shine October 28, 2017 at 5:28 am

    You want to frank! Cut the amount of cabinet ministers by half.
    You want to be frank! Reduce taxes on food and cloths imports
    You want to be frank! Give civil servants their pay rise and make productivity the bench mark for promotion and continuance of service.
    You want to be frank! Introduce referendums in key policy making decisions and big projects.
    You want to be frank! Make ITAL a part of the house.
    You want to be frank! Introduce anticorruption legislation and flex the laws of defamation and introduce whistle blower legislation so journalist can investigate throughly.
    You want to be frank! Open up all the cases relative to the auditor general reports where it is obvious that big name civil servants and politicians have been getting their kick backs and draw backs from.
    You want to be frank! Call a spade a spade. Speak the truth about your imbecile Prime Minister and his weak azz minister of finance
    You want to be frank! Investigate Dennis Low Lowe

  6. Susan Maynard
    Susan Maynard October 28, 2017 at 5:54 am

    who get the country look this. I feel some one shall be lock up by now , were all the bajans taxes gone man.

  7. Alex Alleyne October 28, 2017 at 6:47 am

    I took a drive around BIM and never before have I seen “Sweet BIM” in such a disgraceful state. ALL DE BUSH AND BAD, BAD ROADS. What were you guys got voted in Office to do ?, the only thing outstanding is “ALL OF YOU DRIVING TOP OF THE LINE VEHICLES’, which are “GAS GUZZLERS”.
    I take it that it is call “LIVING LARGE OFF THE HOG”………

    • John Everatt October 28, 2017 at 10:06 am

      Yeah, they want us to do as they say and not as they do. These ministers and government big ups are the worst when it comes to spending FX. Real leaders lead from the front.

  8. Tony Webster October 28, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Now? Only NOW has someone switched on the light? Is the gentleman enjoying a stroll ‘pon that fabled road to Damascus? Something Grand must be ‘appening!! There is a distinct odour attached to this particular revelation….which I more assign to sweating, furrowed brows and arm-pits…quite an assault to both the usual sweet Caribbean air, as much as to the average Bajan’s intelligence.

    Doan worry. What will be, will be. Chickens will come home to roost….and the Truth Shall Set All of Faith Free.

  9. Sue Donym October 28, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Yes, let’s talk about how “too much time (is spent) importing goods and services” in an economy where little is manufactured or assembled; where import duties on inputs are crippling; and where red tape is strangling some of the most determined and optimistic business persons. Let’s hear specifics on the plans to stimulate this economy.

    The minister also proposes to discuss “how all of the agencies… in the public sector… collaborate”. We already have a lot to review regarding how the agencies don’t follow their own rules and many are years behind in compliance on reporting and are perenially in breach of regulations on spending and contract practices. Collaboration would have more significance when goals are being achieved and there is a clear picture of the state of the departments and agencies. Instead, phones go unanswered; and correspondence often gets no acknowledgement before apparently entering the black hole of Bajan bureaucracy.

    Do we continue to pretend all is well and ready for this growth or do we make a critical assessment and the decision to excise the rot?

    Is it that our government’s creativity is limited to how many taxes they can conjure up for those already paying, while finding ways to support “others” in their expansion? Sound familiar, minister?

  10. Gittens Hallam
    Gittens Hallam October 28, 2017 at 10:54 am

    You’ll need to be honest with John public and tell the PPL where the money that we are being taxed going! And why simple things like road repairs can’t be done why garbage has to be piled up at every corner why the bus service the way it is why CBC owes so much money to creditors why water works can’t fix a burst main in a proper time frame, it seems to me that this party don’t really wanna win the up coming elections reason I say this is because you guys just sit and collect a fat pay each month making you’ll selfs richer off the poor man’s back, this is months now that your prime minister has not address this nation to give the PPL an up date on what’s going on and u want to be Frank

  11. Dick Tracy October 28, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    You want the entrepreneurs to show more passion about their work and become more innovative. The government needs to be more passionate about getting things done for John Q public, and not themselves. As a previous writer said:

    “this is months now that your prime minister has not address this nation to give the PPL an up date on what’s going on and u want to be Frank”.

  12. DE October 28, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Is his my favorite government minister regaining consciousness or is this a political move.
    It amazes me to see that I want to bring a piece of tool, camera equipment or electronic equipment and the government is charging over a hundred percent in duties on these items that are not manufactured in Barbados.
    But what they do, is allow the BAMDC, Hotels, Supermarkets and Merchants to import all the produce that are grown here on this island and leave the small farmers to suffer.
    All of the successful government do it.

  13. MARIA Holder October 28, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Can anyone imagine what a $100M can do for this country?

  14. Jus me October 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Ok Jus flap you mouts till election Day.
    An then ?The Day after yuh still in Sh###e
    Smart move suckers.
    Politicians laffin fit tuh bust at yuh sorry Ass#s.
    They got yuh en yuh ent gettin out.
    Suck salt yuh sh## heads.

  15. Disturbed October 29, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Why not pump some funds into the SJPI instead of having it as a political scapegoat and maybe some youthful minds can be creative.


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