Young Barbadians have come in for high praise from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who said they were taking advantage of the opportunities available to them and seeing the world as their oyster.
Mr. Stuart made the comments recently, when Dean of the prestigious New York University???s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Dr. Peter Blair Henry, paid him a courtesy call at Government Headquarters. Also present was Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Delisle Worrell.
The Prime Minister said: ???The future is bright; I like what I am seeing. We have a group of young people who are not prepared to wait on Government. They are taking advantage of the opportunities at their disposal??? Our young people are doing things differently, and they have a global perspective.???
During the wide-ranging discussions, Mr. Stuart acknowledged that the United States market was one CARICOM needed to be able to penetrate more easily. He stated that a frank discussion which took into account the current realities was needed between the United States of America and CARICOM.
He said the people in the Caribbean were very talented and were contributing to the treasury of human civilisation, but stressed that mechanisms must continue to be put in place for them to flourish. Dr. Henry added that it was important for CARICOM leaders to speak with one voice, and expressed the view that the confidence and voice of what the Caribbean should be were missing.
Dr. Henry presented his book Turn Around: Third World Lessons for First World Growth to Mr. Stuart, who remarked that it had a mighty reputation and that he had familiarised himself with it. ???It was very well argued and is very useful information,??? he stated.
In Turnaround, the Jamaican-born economist maintains that the secret to emerging countries??? success is discipline, that is, sustained commitment to a realistic growth strategy. He further posits that policies, not institutions, drive successful economic performance.
Using the case of Barbados and Jamaica, he examines how this island???s economic policies, particularly during the crisis of the 1990???s, contributed to growth in the following years.??Dr. Henry told the Prime Minister the 1990???s was an important episode in Barbados??? history, and the book contained valuable information that was useful to the rest of the world.
Mr. Stuart added that the island had learnt a lot of lessons from that period. He explained that Government was wrestling with a fiscal deficit that had spun out of control during 2013/2014. He pointed out that by the end of this financial year, the fiscal deficit should decrease by 5.3 per cent, and he expected a further reduction with the extension of the Fiscal Consolidation Programme.