Matters relating to the island’s international business sector, the ongoing economic crisis and regional integration were among the issues discussed, when the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Reverend Justin Welby, paid a courtesy call today on Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
During the meeting at Ilaro Court, the archbishop described his tenure as “very interesting” and he gave a synopsis of his activities throughout his career especially his involvement with the Anglican Communion.
“Internationally, I have been widely involved in the Anglican Communion over the last 10 years and that is an enormously fascinating area. The Anglican Communion is in 165 countries and touches 80 million people. So, the capacity for the Communion to be involved in government, development issues and issues surrounding human well-being around the globe is absolutely enormous … as they are here,” Welby added.
He also sought to learn more about the island’s main economic drivers namely the international business and financial services sectors and tourism. The archbishop also touched on the structure of the island’s Parliament.
In turn, Stuart pointed out that international companies were attracted to Barbados “because of its infrastructure, telecommunications network, and its designation as a low-tax jurisdiction”.
The Prime Minister also outlined how the country had been grappling with the ongoing economic recession for the past six years.
“This global recession is now in its sixth year. We have not seen anything like this since the 1930s and we haven’t heard anything from the people we thought would know — the economists … that suggests that they understand how to get us out of this.
“It [economic recession] is really a big challenge. It’s depth is just being gradually known and its duration we are just guessing,” Stuart said.
Also attending this morning’s meeting was Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, and the Anglican Bishop of Barbados, the Reverend Dr. John Holder and his wife, Betty Lucas-Holder.