Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn. (FP)

Government is embarking on a number of initiatives to raise the level of financial literacy among the population.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, reiterated the importance of making Barbadians financially literate when he recently addressed the opening and renaming ceremony of Reliance Co-operative Credit Union Limited, at the Harold Hoyte and Fred Gollop Media Complex Annex, Fontabelle, St. Michael.

Mr. Straughn told his audience: “We must now work with the members of the media…as well as other institutions across government to deliver information in such a fashion, that allows persons to understand the risk that goes with certain activity, such that when they make a decision as to where they put their money, that they have an understanding as to what is the underlining value associated with that.”

He stressed that there was a need to develop a discerning and financially savvy Barbadian, who would recognize the opportunities and risks associated with investments.

The Minister noted that with regard to the debt restructuring, an in principle agreement had been concluded recently with the external creditors and a resolution would be debated in Parliament tomorrow, Tuesday, October 29. 

He added that there would now be opportunities for financial institutions as a result of the debt restructuring.

“The programme we are executing will succeed.  We have passed all of our qualitative targets with respect to the IMF and we will continue to focus on that because we believe that once we hit those targets, then the trust and credibility and belief in the Government of Barbados will be restored, such that you will be able to create and generate more wealth for your members.

“We have restructured our domestic debt just over a year. There are entities that are actively engaging in the secondary market for trading of these securities…and will achieve a rate of return beyond that which you are earning currently in the market, simply because they are purchasing those securities at a discount.  There is a belief that once the Government of Barbados remains on the path that we are on, that those returns will come back to those persons over the next few years,” he said.

Mr. Straughn opined that the credit union movement was ably placed to benefit from the opportunities that would deliver greater returns to its members. 

He noted that over the past 18 months, Government had embarked on the stabilization of this country’s economy to give confidence to consumers, businesses and investors. 

He added that Barbados had also created a framework to actively engage the world since there were regional and international opportunities.

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