The International Monetary Fund’s Mission Chief for Barbados, Bert van Selm, speaking at today’s press briefing at the Central Bank of Barbados. To his left is Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn. (A.Husbands/BGIS)

The Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme is on track and all targets for the end of September 2019 have been met, says the International Monetary Fund’s Mission Chief for Barbados, Bert van Selm.

He made the comments today as he participated in a press conference, at the Central Bank, to wrap up a series of Government and IMF meetings.

He said Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its economic reform programme.

Mr. van Selm said the programme’s target for primary surplus was met with a comfortable margin and noted that it gives confidence that the target for the full year of six per cent could also be met by March next year.

He told the media: “The Barbadian authorities also continue to make good progress in implementing structural benchmarks under the programme.

Following very good discussions, the IMF team and the Barbadian authorities reached staff-level agreement on the completion of the second review under this Extended Fund Facility.

“This agreement is still subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, which is expected to consider the review in December and upon completion of it, the next tranche under the programme would be disbursed and will be about US$48 million, leading to total disbursement of just under US $150 million.”

Mr. van Selm noted that structural reform was necessary to unlock Barbados’ growth potential and explained that the authorities had started to address challenges related to the business climate with a number of initiatives, including the reform of the Town and Country Planning Act.

He stressed, however, that there was plenty of scope for further improvement in the business climate, including the reform of the Customs administration.

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