Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, is participating in two meetings this week which are aimed at deepening economic integration and fostering investment opportunities for Barbados in key markets.
The first is a three-part event being held in London today, Monday, November 19. Minister Caddle addressed the Barbados is Open for Business Breakfast Seminar and Networking Event, which brought together individuals who represent existing and potential investments in Barbados.
She also is also participating in the Welcome to the Caribbean Expo Real Estate Forum and the Barbados is Open for Business networking dinner, which will highlight business opportunities in the country.
The second event is the CARICOM-UAE (United Arab Emirates) Forum, which will be held from November 24 to 26, in Dubai. The forum’s aims are to discuss the strategic bilateral relationship between the region and the UAE, as well as to find new areas of cooperation and opportunities in the areas of investment, trade and culture.
It will bring together over 100 leaders, policymakers, businessmen and key representatives from international organizations and companies from over 50 countries and allow participants an opportunity to exchange experiences and build strong networks.
Emphasizing the importance of the two meetings, the Minister said: “Investor confidence is an economic variable – it is real; and it is one that we know is now improving in Barbados. Over the last decade, in the context of two dozen credit downgrades, ever-mounting arrears and plunging reserves, the Barbados economy did not grow. Now, for the first time in years, Standard and Poors has lifted our credit rating from D to B- on the strength of the BERT Plan, as well as the confidence of the international community that these measures have begun and will continue to bring about social and economic recovery and transformation.”
In her remarks to open the Barbados is Open for Business Breakfast Seminar, Minister Caddle again mentioned the importance of the upgrade and other measures Government is taking to stimulate the domestic economy:
“Our aim is to get back to a single A rating, and we will. This month we are current. Our deficit has been virtually eliminated after a decade of unsustainable deficits. This has enabled us to pay this year’s Income Tax and VAT refunds and rebates. Cheques went out last week. Not only is this the first time the Government has been current for six years, but this injection of cash, putting money into the hands of people and businesses, will help fuel our recovery.
She also shared with attendees the recently announced news on repayments to pensioners: “Our new fiscal position has allowed us to take a fresh look at the impact on pensioners of the debt restructuring. We have brought forward the repayment of the first $250,000 of the bond holdings of those over the age of 60. When I say that Barbados is back, I don’t just mean the financial prudence you were used to in previous decades, but also the compassion of our society and community.”
Accompanying Ms. Caddle abroad is Government’s Special Advisor on the Economy, Professor Avinash Persaud.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment