Prime Minister David Thompson
The credit union movement has been told to grab the opportunities that will become available under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy and the recently- concluded Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Prime Minister David Thompson noted that the EPA was not the best outcome for CARICOM, but he acknowledged that the agreement would place the movement in an excellent position to launch their products and services on a global scale.
He offered these suggestions while delivering the feature address during the City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union’s 25th Anniversary Dinner and Awards ceremony last weekend. The event took place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Underscoring the importance of credit unions to the region’s economic development, Mr. Thompson said: “I want you to remember that Barbados and other CARICOM member states have a large diaspora in Europe and North America. The EPA certainly gives credit unions, based in the Caribbean, access to this not insignificant number of potential members, many of whom, in normal circumstances, are better off and highly committed to the economic development in the region.
The Prime Minister also urged credit unions to give financial assistance to potential entrepreneurs to help them set up their own businesses. “Unlike the commercial banks, you know your members and you have a greater degree of social control over them. It is for this reason, that we have identified the people’s credit unions, as the appropriate sources of funding for the people’s business enterprises,” he added.
He challenged them to assist government in its quest to wean Barbadians away from a culture of consumption to one of production.