Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, has urged local economists to seek to strike the right balance as they strive to come up with sensible, implementable solutions that policymakers can enact for the benefit of society.

Speaking at the Eighth Research Seminar of the Economic Affairs Division today, Mr. Sinckler told the audience: ???In reality, a variety of factors can influence policy outcomes, which is a challenge that cannot simply be written down in theoretical models or coded in econometric-based data processing.???

The key, he advised, was to strike the right balance between the theoretical frameworks, data analysis and policy formulation and the process must also include, he suggested, ???a good dose of common sense???.

Mr. Sinckler said that these types of research forums presented opportunities to find meaningful solutions to a number of pressing issues and challenges facing Barbados through the use of innovative frameworks and research methods.

???In Barbados and across the region, we need to urgently explore new pathways to achieve sustainable growth and social progress. This requires research, innovation, technology and, further for us here in Barbados, an enlarged appetite to achieve a new and dynamic competitive service and knowledge-based economy,??? he said.

The Minister of Economic Affairs also stressed the need for small island developing states to explore ways of dealing effectively with the impact of climate change and potential natural disasters, noting that environmental issues were fundamental to sustainable growth and development.

He submitted that while energy consumption, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, represented the main source of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and was the major cause of climate change, fossil fuels remained a critical source of energy for economic growth.

???A major challenge therefore is to maintain economic growth while reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, that is, to achieve low-carbon economic growth and development,??? Mr. Sinckler said.

The research seminar, which took place at the Division of Economic Affairs, Warrens Office Complex, brought together economic researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors, labour, academic and civil society.

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