Government remains committed to exploring new opportunities to grow Barbados??? economy and returning it to a path of sustained growth of three per cent by 2017 and 4.5 per cent by 2020.

This assurance came today from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Senator Jepter Ince, as he addressed the opening of the 2014 Week of Excellence Seminar at the Grande Salle, Central Bank of Barbados.

Senator Ince told his audience that efforts would continue to map a new growth path as outlined in the Barbados Growth and Development Strategy 2013-2020 that would lead to the creation of jobs in the short medium and long term and ignite industrial development.

???The financial crisis and subsequent recession brought painful adjustment. However, this Government continues to broaden public investment infrastructure, target more economic activity in agriculture, manufacturing and construction and continue to promote innovation through the Green Economy,??? he stated.

He underscored the importance of small and medium-sized businesses to economic growth and development, pointing out that they could provide jobs, create wealth, and improve the lives of those directly or indirectly involved in the operations.

He stressed that in the current economic climate, there had been a greater push to encourage persons to move towards self-employment and even look beyond these borders for new markets and business opportunities. ???The Government has been doing its part by providing the policy framework and also the financing to assist small business development,??? he noted.

Senator Ince surmised that economies which were growing and expanding were continually developing new products and improving the production of old ones. ???We as a country must adapt to disciplines and productive possibilities of the new global economy that present opportunities for improving living standards and expanding employment. It is about recognising that now is the time to do extraordinary things in dealing with our current challenges. It requires new ideas and bold efforts from Government, business, labour, communities and every family,??? he suggested.

The Parliamentary Secretary said Government was also committed to maintaining an acceptable level of foreign reserves, providing critical social services and effectively and efficiently managing its capital resources.

He promised that dialogue would continue with the various private sector agencies, non-governmental organisations, professional associations and civil society to create an environment for higher productivity and economic growth.

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