A senior Government minister has thrown out a challenge to his colleagues and operators in the business community to double their efforts if they want to see a turnaround in the Barbados economy in 2015.
Minister of International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss said while he was optimistic that 2015 would be a better year for the country it would not happen without meaningful action by stakeholders.
“I see growth but I also know it is not going to come around the corner because we wish it to happen. Growth is going to come when all of us – ministers, public servants [and] the private sector – redouble our efforts to do better. So growth is going to come not by talking about the projects that are in the pipeline but by opening the tap and getting those projects flowing,” he said.
“So it means that applications before various Government departments for projects will have to be accelerated. It means that what usually takes six months will have to be done in six weeks, for example. It means that, as ministers and Government, we will have to work around the clock to find ways of facilitating business much better than we did in 2014. It cannot be about a lot of long talk. We really have to double up our effort and get things done a lot faster without compromising our policies. We must also, as we look towards a sustainable growth path, ensure that there is great consistency and clarity in all of our policies and programmes and that the engagement between the public and private sector must be at a high and constructive level.”
Saying he expected the local economy to perform better in 2015 than it did in 2014, Inniss told Barbados TODAY that he was looking forward to increased employment opportunities.
“I expect that businesses in Barbados will do much better than they did in 2014 – at least those that continue to think and act outside of the box, those that opt to pay more attention to customer service and the demands of the consumers, and those that opt to look at markets outside of Barbados for their products and services,” the minister added.
Inniss said he was keeping a close eye on developments in other countries, especially those with which Barbados had trade and tax treaty relationships.
He said he was also confident the international business sector would remain robust despite its share of challenges in 2014.
“And as a politician I look forward to Barbadians being able to get back to the point where jobs are created in great numbers, where taxpayers can get an ease in their disposable income and the society on a whole benefits,” he added.
Looking back at the past year, Inniss said: “It turned out to be a very challenging year for businesses, policymakers, politicians and the wider business community.”
“It was also a year when many entities had to do their restructuring and redirecting to ensure that they place themselves on a more secure footing for the future,” he added.