Barbados and the rest of the region urgently need to explore new pathways to achieve sustainable growth and social progress.

This will require ??research, innovation, technology and ???an enlarged appetite??? to achieve a new and dynamic competitive service and knowledge-based economy.

The suggestion came today from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Senator Jepter Ince, as he addressed economists attending the 9th annual research seminar of the Economic Affairs Division.

Senator Ince challenged his audience to consider how policies that promoted inclusive growth could be implemented, so that there was an equitable distribution of the benefits of growth reaching every sector of society.

???What would be a development strategy that fosters two mutually reinforcing pillars: first, high and sustainable growth to create greater economic opportunities; and, second, social inclusion to ensure equal access for everyone to those opportunities???? he queried.

Other challenges to be addressed, he said, were to what extent governments should support small and medium-sized enterprises, and how; as well as how many resources should be allocated to strengthening social security systems when fiscal needs for infrastructural development and industrial and rural development were high.

He stated that the development challenges faced by policymakers were cross-cutting issues which called for a good understanding of microeconomics and macroeconomics, as well as consideration of a country???s social, political and environmental context.

Senator Ince submitted: ???In reality, a variety of factors can influence policy outcomes, which is a challenge that cannot simply be written down in theoretical models or coded in econometric-based data processing.

???The key is to strike the right balance of theoretical frameworks, data analysis and policy formulation,??? the Parliamentary Secretary advised.??The seminar brought together researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors, as well as labour, academic, civil society and development partners.

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