Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart speaking at the BCCI’s luncheon at Hilton Barbados while Executive Director, Lisa Gale; President, Lalu Vaswani; and Senior Vice President, David Neilands??look on.(C. Pitt/BGIS)
Developmentally, Barbados continues to do relatively well, inspite of the global economic recession.
This was underscored by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he delivered the keynote address at the business luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry today at the Hilton Barbados.
Speaking on the topic: From Stabilisation to Growth, he pointed out that Barbados had achieved stability and that business and social conditions had been kept "far less hostile than they otherwise would have been" because Government was working collaboratively with the private sector, the trade unions and the people.
He noted that although the country only experienced marginal growth, from 2010 "the decline in gross domestic product had been halted", and Government’s deficit was also coming down, in line with the medium-term fiscal strategy.
"We will continue the gradual reduction of the fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP in order to keep Government’s fiscal position sustainable and gradually reduce the public debt as a percentage of GDP," he disclosed.
He outlined that in order to achieve these objectives, government ??intended to improve the efficiency of its revenue collecting system to generate more revenue without increasing rates of taxation; re-allocate resources to generate greater productivity from government activities; facilitate greater use of public/private sector partnership arrangements for capital projects that were self financing, through savings in government expenditure or through increased revenues; and increase the efficiency of Government procurement.
The Prime Minister told the gathering of business executives that further expansion of the economy would be facilitated by promoting the foreign exchange earning and saving sectors "much more vigorously", while increasing economic capacity in order to achieve higher and more balanced growth.
He promised that Government would maintain prudent spending in the domestic economy, upgrade and expand infrastructure and carry out the necessary restructuring across various sectors, as well as preserve the social safety net and other essential investments.