Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler (left), looks on, while Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right) and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno converse during a tour of the new facility. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, has praised the more than four decades old relationship with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that has resulted in tremendous development across Barbados.

He made this observation recently during an inauguration ceremony for the bank’s new office at Hythe Welches, Maxwell, Christ Church, recently.

Describing the ties as symbiotic, Mr. Sinckler said: "As a small open economy with limited resources, it is necessary for us to forge ahead with our development which really is about building the capacity of our people to achieve our utmost in whatever endeavours they engage in.??

"We need strategic partners and the IDB has been there over the last 40 years in ways that it would take an entire generation to explain as it related to the social, cultural and psychological development of the country," he added.

The Finance Minister noted that as the relationship approaches a half century, the IDB had demonstrated its commitment to the island by investing in a new office on the south coast.

Meanwhile, IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, who also addressed the recently concluded Foromic micro-enterprise forum, highlighted the need for Caribbean countries to identify those areas that the IDB could assist in making more competitive.

"One of the things that I worry a lot about is the competitiveness of the Caribbean nations.?? I think that together, you need to look at areas that needed to be worked on such as the prices of energy…The work that is being done with integration across the OECS; these are all issues that we [IDB] want to work together with you [Barbados] and other Caribbean countries…," he emphasised.

The IDB’s country representative Joel Branski, said the bank was happy to accompany Barbados on its journey of social and economic development.?? "For example, the bank shares Barbados’ strong commitment to education as a principal development factor and has contributed to an education system that has very high access at all levels.?? Similarly, we have developed a strong partnership in coastal management for the last 30 years, which has supported a thriving tourism industry – the core of the Barbadian economy."

Mr. Branski also said the new office would be occupied by a group of "highly, motivated and competent staff with diverse backgrounds, who are able to carry out the bank’s mission and face the challenges in Barbados and the region".


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