Moody???s Investors Service???s downgrade of the Barbados government???s bond rating to B3 from Ba3 has not dampened the spirit of one government minister.
And, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, has made it clear that despite reports predicting ???gloom and doom???, investors have indicated renewed confidence in this economy and were prepared to make investments.
Speaking to media on Wednesday evening before the start of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry???s forum on Promoting Clean Technology Development and Investment in Small Islands at the Hilton Barbados, Mr. Inniss said during the last two weeks he visited the Atlantic Canadian region to discuss investment promotion matters and trade between Atlantic Canada and Barbados.
He stated: ???I can safely say to you that on the international business side, there is a lot of interest in Barbados as a domicile for international business and financial services???As a matter of fact most of the law firms and accounting firms that I would have met with have experience in dealing with Barbados and they also have clients who are very keen to make Barbados a part of their global structure.???
The Business Minister pointed out that reports coming out of Canada recently confirmed that Barbados continued to be the third largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment out of Canada, surpassing CAN$60 billion in investment through Barbados, while adding that was up from $56 billion a few years ago.
???Certainly within my Ministry, we are seeing a greater level of stability and in some quarters even growth in the international business sector???So, I don???t share the ???doom and gloom??? attitude that many in this society may seem to want to have???,??? he stated.
Acknowledging that the rating agencies ???will do what they have to do??? and government has taken ???full note of their reports???, Minister Inniss added that ???in due time, the Minister of Finance or the Prime Minister will address these issues with greater technical detail??? but from my end as the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, I am feeling very upbeat???.
Moreover, Mr. Inniss surmised that the problems in Barbados did not necessarily start with the crisis of 2008 but because of structural deficiencies in our economy prior to 2008, the global recession may have added to the magnitude of the problem.