Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is hopeful that this island???s economy will rebound in full by 2016, so that those Barbadians who made the necessary sacrifices will reap the benefits.

Mr. Stuart expressed this wish recently, during a meeting with former President of the Republic of Chile, Sebasti?n Pi??era, at Ilaro Court.??

Those attending the wide-ranging talks included Chilean Ambassador to Barbados, Fernando Schmidt, and Chile???s Honorary Consul, David Harding.

During the discussions on the global economic crisis and its impact on Barbados, Mr. Pi??era said Chile was following what was happening here, and the country ???seemed to be doing well???.

The Prime Minister said Government was working on getting its fiscal deficit down to manageable levels. He pointed out that a 19-month stabilisation programme was put in place, but it had now been extended by one year so as to ensure that the gains the country had been making were not reversed.

He added, however, that the island was beginning to feel the effects of the falling oil prices. ???In addition, Barbados has been having a very good tourism season, with the hotels holding their own, and we expect this trend to continue,??? he stated.

Mr. Stuart noted that Government was also working in the area of renewable energy and Parliament had recently passed the new Electric Light and Power Act.

Mr. Pi??era said people across the world were growing impatient because of the economic recession. He noted that Chile has the highest per capita income in Latin America, and he attributed this to good management of the economy over time.

The Chilean ex-President and Prime Minister Stuart also discussed Chile???s position on the border conflict between Chile and Bolivia. The dispute is currently before the International Court of Justice, whose findings are expected before the end of February.

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