The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) says it is in full agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the need for full and urgent implementation of government’s growth strategies.
Last week,. in its country report on the Article IV consultation with Barbados, the IMF said prompt implementation of Government’s planned policies was needed in order to bring the island’s spending under control and to increase revenues.
In a statement today, the BCCI said: “ . . . Our current account deficit must be reduced and the high utilization of foreign debt to support the local current account deficit needs to cease.”
The private sector body further called on Government to carry out an “immediate and comprehensive overhaul” of the many statutory corporations, as well as to consolidate some ministries, in addition to implementing cost-cutting measures.
“The Government needs to determine which current and possible future assets can be privatized and seek ways to attract both local and foreign investors to take ownership in those areas of the country’s growth plans,” said the BCCI.
It added: “Government should encourage private, both local and foreign, investment in the foreign exchange earning or foreign exchange saving sectors such as the waste to energy and sugar revitalization projects that require major foreign exchange input and avoid committing the Barbados Government to additional foreign debt repayment.”
The economy’s growth can and should also be stimulated by implementation of a number of major projects that have been either on hold or awaiting approval by the Government, it said.
“These projects need to be given the focus and attention required to fast-track their approval and implementation as every opportunity to achieve the Government’s short to medium-term goals needs to be capitalized on.”
“It is very important that the major stakeholders in Barbados work together to see Barbados through this critical transformation over the next few years and the BCCI looks forward to working with the Government and labour movement in the successful transformation of Barbados’ economy.”