The Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) and the Barbados Economic Society (BES) have raised questions about the economic performance report issued yesterday by the Governor of the Central Bank.
BES head Jeremy Stephen said the report made little mention of some projects that were expected to see some major investment in the economy such as the Four Seasons project and the Pier Head Marina. Saying that capitalization of those projects would lead to “some level of balance” by creating employment, Stephen said clarification was needed on what stage the capitalization of those projects were at.
“So the question remains as to what facilitation or what types of facilitation have occurred to ensure that the financing of these projects are even more imminent than previously stated. And we would also want to know how soon these projects are expected to commence,” said Stephen.
At the same time the economist warned that any source of foreign direct investment should be carefully pursued in light of the recent Moody’s downgrade. Stephen also cautioned that if sovereign debt was not immediately accessible funding for the major projects outlined could become “even more problematic”.
He went on to congratulate the Government on its efforts to bring down the fiscal deficit, but said more work was needed.
“Therefore, as [has] been echoed, we do expect that some further form of fiscal consolidation will be expected throughout the rest of the year,” Stephen told Barbados Today.
“With that being said we do expect further drags on the economy, in that it would impact the fiscal consolidation programme mainly on the tax side.”
In relation to Government owing a number of agencies and statutory corporations, Stephen said he believed the administration was trying its best to “fix that situation”, adding that a committee was set up to “hopefully” be more action-oriented. Stephen also warned that Government should continue to, as a part of its draw back on expenditure, cut wastage in statutory corporations.
Meantime, BPSA president Alex McDonald, said the association would be seeking clarification to some aspects of the report on Friday when the Social Partnership meets with the Governor of the Central Bank. He said the board of directors of the association would meet tomorrow to discuss the areas they are concerned about.
“We listened to the comments on trading and non-trading sectors. Those are some of the areas we would want to get some clarification on,” added McDonald.