Advisory Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Oliver Jordan is warning that come 2017 Barbados will face some harsh “economic headwinds”, with the tourism industry as the saviour.
Sounding the caution today during a presentation at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA’s) fourth quarterly meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Jordan said however, for tourism to come to the rescue, outstanding projects must be implemented quickly.
“As we move towards 2017 I think the reality, as we all know, the country is going to face some severe economic headwinds and I think certainly the tourism industry is going to be critical in helping us to deal with these headwinds,” the former tourism executive said.
“The reality is that you can only tax so much or you can cut so much out [but] the economy needs to grow, and I think the only thing that is going to really help us to grow at this point is the tourism industry.
“There has been a lot of discussion about various projects, but the reality is that unless these projects are really implemented in 2017 we are going to face a lot of [economic] challenges in the country. So I think together we need to work and ensure they are actually implemented in 2017 and protect the country that we love so much,” he said.
The Central Bank is forecasting that the Barbados economy, which suffered its latest economic downgrade at the hands of the international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s in September this year, is projected to grow by about 1.4 per cent for 2016.