Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick.

A Government Minister is urging Barbadians not to panic but to implement the necessary strategies that will help them to cope during the current global economic crisis.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick made this appeal today, while calling for the relevant institutional changes as a pre-requisite to achieving first-world economy status.
He made these observations while addressing the participants of HLM Academy’s forum, entitled: ‘Managing in a Recessionary Environment’. The event was held at Hilton Barbados, Needhams Point, St. Michael.

Dr. Estwick noted that while institutional strengthening was important, first-rate economy status would also be achieved through closer collaboration between Government, the Social Partnership and industry players.

Acknowledging that the region had weathered similar economic crises in the past, the Economic Affairs minister warned that “failure to put in place now, the appropriate institutional structures that will create the new foundations for lasting prosperity, would be an irreversible mistake of enormous consequences”.

To this end, Dr. Estwick pointed to some of the initiatives being implemented by Government including the Short and Medium Term Action Plan formulated by a Special Working Group on the Economy, a more than $80 million stimulus package, an injection of $20 million into tourism marketing and a $15 million Tourism Relief Fund.

He said the list was not exhaustive but he also challenged technocrats to: “Review our existing situation and craft our vision around our most precious resource, our citizens. Barbados’ well-educated and highly skilled workforce provides an unparalleled opportunity to bolster sustainable economic growth and development.

Dr. Estwick further stated that: “We must coordinate and direct our efforts, minds and our national resources towards those core sectors that will enable us to attain our broad development goals.”

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