Going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was the correct thing to do under the current circumstances.
And in the next two to three years Barbados will be transformed as a result, according to the Government’s economic advisor Dr Kevin Greenidge, the Barbadian IMF official who is on secondment from the Fund.
“The IMF has been set up exactly for this situation. It is the premier financial institution in the world and 190 countries have signed on to the IMF. When a country gets into severe financial difficulties as we have because we have no reserves, the IMF is set up to come in and help you fix it,” Dr Greenidge told broadcaster Carol Roberts during a specially organized interview this morning.
“And what it brings is this confidence, because who is going to believe that after the past ten to 12 years which we call the lost decade because we grew zero growth in the economy, our deficits were non-existent, we almost ran out of reserves and our debt went through the roof, so who out there is going to believe that Barbados on its own is going to do its thing.
“So we needed someone to come and say that they’ve reviewed what we said we are going to do and were willing to endorse it. We are serious about getting the economy fixed and getting the show on the road. It is a significant achievement but the work has now begun,” he added.
Dr Greenidge admitted that while the coming months would be tough, he promised Barbados would be almost unrecognisable in the next few years.
“We will go through a transitional period where things will feel a little tough, maybe a few months to a year but we will come out of this…and there will be displacement of workers as we seek to restructure and modernize public sector,” he said.
“But you can hang my hat on this. Within the next two to three years we won’t be able to recognize Barbados because the economy will be growing,” the economist declared.
Investors would once again line up to do business with Barbados, Dr Greenidge said, while pointing to institutions such as Ross University and Sandals, which had made heavy investments recently.