The Barbados Government will be seeking another loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as it accelerates its modernization plan.
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan, disclosed that he was to meet with IDB officials today (Monday) to secure a loan from the Washington-based financial institution for the digitization of government.
He did not disclose the size of the loan Government was seeking in this round.
“That meeting that I am going to has to do with the modernization of the Government and you may have heard it referred to as the digitizing of government records. But the digitizing is just one part of a larger programme that we are seeking funding for, through the Inter-American Development Bank and we are fighting the battle on a number of fronts. I want you to stay the course with us,” Jordan told retrenched government workers on Monday as he addressed the first in a series of workshops at the Warrens Office Complex.
Under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme, Government is expected to reform state-owned agencies and employ greater use of technology in an effort to improve its processes.
It is also hoped that a number of retrenched workers would receive training in specialized areas to be prepared to assist with digitizing government records.
So far, Government has received a promised $200 million from the IDB in support of the BERT programme, helping to drive the island’s once precarious international reserves to just over $1 billion as at December last year.
Pointing out that Barbados was “on the road to progress”, Jordan said this will continue to happen because of the partnerships.
“We have made strides as it relates to closing our fiscal deficit. Tomorrow (Tuesday) the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2019/2020 will be laid in Parliament and those estimates have been the results of quite a lot of work,” said Jordan.
“But they will be the estimates that speak to keeping Barbados on the path to recovery. We have seen a closing of the fiscal deficit and we have seen significant improvements in our level of foreign reserves and this gives us some room where we can focus more on economic growth and economic recovery,” he said.
Late last year Barbados also benefited from a promised $150 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in support of the BERT programme and later this week Government is to also be
presented with a further US$40.4 million infrastructure loan from the CDB to carry out upgrades to the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Government is benefiting from a US$290 million Extended Fund Facility under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement as it carries out its BERT programme.