Governor of the Central Bank Dr Delisle Worrell is defending the private sector against criticism that they are not doing anything to revitalise the economy.
Worrell questioned these claims while participating in a panel discussion on the Barbados economy, under the theme Consolidation and Growth Strategy.
“The notion that the private sector is doing nothing is absolutely false. We have, and have always had, an entrepreneurial culture in the economy at all levels. The private sector people in this country are moving forward. They are complaining about the things that are wrong that Government needs to do and they are insisting that the Government lives up to its side of the bargain but, in the meantime, they are investing,” he said.
“The private sector is expected to invest $2 billion in the economy. There are ongoing major projects financed by the private sector that have gone on throughout the current recession. We must not minimise the importance of these investments.”
Dismissing the argument that there is a lack of enterprise in the private sector, Worrell also pointed to entrepreneurship also contributing to an economic revival.
“A lot of young people are taking their own initiative, people are adapting creatively to the circumstances,” Worrell pointed out.
The Central Bank Governor said that Government was working on facilitating business, which was a major aspect of the economic growth strategy.
“What we are doing should be seen in a positive light because none of the problems identified is being ignored. There are positive arrangements and institutional mechanisms through which we are working on an ongoing basis,” Worrell said.
In her contribution to the discussion, President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Tracey Shuffler said some businesses were holding back from further investment or making “operational investments”.
“These are relatively small, small investments which are meant to shore up what they already have to ensure that they keep up with the competition. Then there are others who are taking bigger dips into the pool where they are making larger investments for not only today but for 10 or 20 years from now. They are making these investments based on reasonable guarantees that they are going to see a reasonable return for their shareholders on the investment they are making,” she said.